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Ukrainian Bill To Abolish Bridge Public Holidays And Working Saturdays

Source: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Kiev)
Posted: Monday, January 18, 2021
Most recent follow-up news item: January 30, 2021

The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's Parliament) has received and forwarded to the Committee on Ukraine's Integration with the European Union, the bill No. 4597, which aims to stop the Ukrainian practice of declaring bridge public holidays that are compensated by a working Saturday ("Excessive number of working day transfers has a negative impact on productivity, minimizes opportunities to work with investors and donors and generally creates a negative reputation of Ukraine's business potential in the world").

The aforementioned bill, entitled "Draft Law on Amendments to Article 67 of the Labor Code of Ukraine on Harmonization of Domestic Legislation with the Legislation of the Member States of the European Union on the Transfer of Working Days" (Проект Закону про внесення змін до статті 67 Кодексу законів про працю України щодо узгодження вітчизняного законодавства із законодавством країн членів Європейського Союзу у питанні перенесення робочих днів), would amend the Labor Code of the Ukraine (as approved by Law № 322-VIII of 10.12.71 ВВР, 1971, appendix to № 50, Art. 375) by removing parts 4-5 and adding a new part 4 that would state that "It is prohibited to transfer weekends and working days at the enterprise, institution or organization, except as provided by this Code".

Over the years, Ukraine's Ministry of Social Policy had regularly declared bridge public holidays (called a decision to postpone working days), to be compensated by the same number of working Saturdays (2020-09-30, 2020-08-29, 2020-08-07, 2019-10-02, 2019-01-10, 2018-01-11, 2017-12-08, 2016-11-15, 2016-08-17, 2015-11-12, 2014-11-17, 2014-11-13, 2013-11-21, 2012-05-30, 2012-04-23, 2012-03-01, 2011-06-20, 2011-02-24, 2010-08-13, 2008-12-10, 2007-11-29 and 2005-12-23).

Although the practice of declaring bridge holidays, and compensating them with a working Saturday, is a holdover from the Soviet era, as mentioned in the bill's preamble ("the transfer of working days is a typical Soviet tradition, which is still preserved in some post-Soviet countries"), today's bill seems unrelated to the various attempts to purge Ukrainian public holidays from vestiges of the Ukraine being part of the Soviet Union (2017-03-28, 2017-01-31 and 2016-06-01), the main argument being economic ("the transfer of working days sometimes leads to 4 non-working days in a row, which reduces work motivation and also negatively affects a person's ability to adapt to the working day, which is the next long weekend").

The bill, if passed into law, would take effect on January 1st, 2022.

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Ukrainian Bill To Abolish Bridge Public Holidays And Working Saturdays" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.