Comments made by lawyer Azamat Hagov to an article titled “The governor shall deprive public utilities employees of vacations” published by “Izvestia”.

7 September 2011

Georgy Poltavchenko intends to forbid municipal officials to rest during January vacations. Such decision was triggered by bad performance of St.-Petersburg public utilities in this January (when Valentina Matvienko still held the position of governor). At that time officials (including those responsible for issues with public utilities) were enjoying their vacations.

“I declared to heads of district that winter vacations are not meant for us,” stated Poltavchenko. “Complaints concerning their work are mostly lodged from January, 1 to January, 15.

However, making officials work on public holidays might not be so easy, since legislation forbids working in such days.

The Labour Code of the RF stipulates that employers can engage staff in work on week ends and holidays without their consent, for instance, to prevent injuries, loss or damage to property, including state or municipal property,” explained the lawyer Azamat Hagov. “With the consent of workers, the latter may be engaged in case of urgent unanticipated works, which are crucial for further normal operation of the whole organization or its divisions.”

Alternatively, Smolny will be obliged to provide officials, which work during holidays, with some other days of rest or with double payment for the hours worked. According to Federal State Statistics Service, in the past year the average wages of public sector workers employed by St.-Petersburg authorities exceeded 55 000 rubles. Therefore, officials shall get a considerable overtime pay. And public treasury will pay a pretty penny for hard work carried out by housing services and utilities during holidays.  

“Izvestia” no. 164 (28425) of September 07, 2011. 

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