Working Saturday

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In some countries which have a 5-day workweek with Saturday and Sunday being days off, on some occasions some Saturdays may be declared working Saturdays.

Community Service Day[edit]

Community service days are very popular in the US corporate culture. Often, employees are even getting paid for working for a local NGO that cooks food for the homeless, etc.


In the former Soviet Union, subbotniks were days of voluntary unpaid labor.

Transferred working day[edit]

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 9 days with one work week running for 6 days and the other one for 3. Employees always have the option of taking a day from their personal vacation allowance and using it to avoid working on the "Working Saturday".

For example in 2007 Russia held working Sundays on the 28th of April, 9th of June, and the 29th of December in lieu of the 30th of April, the 11th of June, and the 31st of December, respectively.[1]

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.[2] 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.


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).


  1. ^ Working Saturdays in Russia in 2007 (Russian)
  2. ^ [1] (Russian)