Among the main advances made in the field with which we are concerned, the reduction of hours of work must be mentioned first.
It is recognised today that increased productivity makes it possible to reduce working hours. Experience has shown that moderate reductions, if carried out by stages in a methodical fashion, do not lead to a parallel drop in productivity and production, as they oblige companies to reorganise, streamline their production and work methods, and increase their fixed capital. It has also been shown that hours in excess of a given figure - for example nine hours a day - are not worth while, since they lead to a fall-off in labour productivity.
The reduction of working hours is perhaps best regarded not as a way of improving the pattern of working time but as a point of departure for developments that are qualitative in character. For most of these, it is in fact an essential prerequisite.
The reductions in hours of work reported in this chapter are to be understood in the commonly accepted sense of a decrease in the number of hours without a corresponding decrease in wages. The kind of reduction in hours with a proportional reduction in salary that occurs in periods of economic slow-down or in the case of part-time employment is something different.1
[Украинский] [английский] [русский]