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Community service dayEdit
Transferred working dayEdit
In the Soviet Union, modern Russia, and Hungary, the Friday following a public holiday that falls on Thursday and the Monday before one that falls on Tuesday are transferred to Saturdays to make longer runs of consecutive nonworking days. In this case the "bridge" Monday or Friday is treated as a Saturday in terms of time tables and working hours and the related "working Saturday" is treated as a normal work day. Over the two work weeks concerned, work is done on nine days with one work week running for six days and the other one for three. Employees always have the option of taking a day from their personal vacation allowance and using it to avoid working on the "working Saturday". Some employers and many education institutions treat the working Saturday as a regular one (giving a "free" day off in the former case).
For example in 2007 Russia held working Sundays on 28 April, 9 June, and 29 December in lieu of 30 April, 11 June, and 31 December, respectively.
This practice requires work on Saturday which is forbidden in Jewish law (Shabbat). For this reason, Jews are sometimes offered the alternative of taking the "Working Saturday" off as an unpaid day. In reality the working Saturday is a day of low productivity due to a tired and resentful workforce. Thus it is often used for corporate team building activities and people often go home in the mid-afternoon. A number of shops follow their usual Saturday opening hours, closing early or not at all opening.
In Poland, there was a six-day workweek (48 working hours a week) till the 1970s. In 1972, the communist government started a long-term process of switching to a five-day workweek. It started with one vacant Saturday per month (46 working hours per average week) and citizens were promised to be given more. The delays in introducing more vacant Saturdays were one of many sources of 1980s unrest in Poland leading to creation of the Solidarity movement.
After the fall of the communist regime in 1989 there was still one Working Saturday per month accompanied by roughly three Vacant Saturdays (42 working hours per average week). It wasn't until the late 1990s that a five-day workweek was finally declared (reduced to 40 hrs/week).