1. The Introduction Of The 32-Hour Workweek
This Has To Be One Of The Main Goals Of Each Social Democratic And Democratic Socialist Party; The Reduction Of Working Time Has To Be Introduced All Over The EU
The opportunity of the 32-hour workweek as a steady work schedule has to be given to all those workers whose job makes it possible, this must be guaranteed by law in each EU country. It will result in more free time for masses of people, that will promote their work-life balance and significantly improve their quality of life. People will have way more time for their family, for their friends, they will have more time for recreation, for hobbies, they will have more time to relax, to do sports etc. More leisure time will significantly improve the quality of life of people at social level, it will result in a way more happier and more balanced society.
This opportunity has to be given to all those workers whose job makes it possible, and it has to be guaranteed by law. It would not be mandatory for workers, but optional: each of those workers whose job makes the reduction of working time possible will get the chance to decide if they choose less working hours for possibly less salary or not. The decision will always be up to the worker and the decision of the worker will be binding on employers who will have to acknowledge each of these decisions.
Workers who choose the 32-hour workweek will decide with their employers if their 32-hour workweek will be realized within the framework of the 4-day workweek or the 5-day workweek. The 32-hour workweek combined with the 5-day workweek would be given as an only alternative to the 40-hour workweek in those areas where an extra day off for workers would mean such a significant labor shortage that would make the functioning of the given area impossible, especially in some public services. In these areas, the 32-hour workweek combined with the 5-day workweek would be an option for the workers.
The reduction of working time is a great tool against unemployment as well. When workers have to work less, employers will need more workforce. When workers have to work less, companies will need to involve and employ more workers to be able to keep the same amount of work done at the company level.
In addition to the introduction of the 32-hour workweek, we must take action against unpaid overtime. Unfortunately, non-payment of workers' overtime is common. This is theft by the employers. Not to pay for a worker's overtime, not to pay for a worker's work is theft, it is modern slavery that we must prevent and step up against. Introducing the reduction of working time is great, but it is not enough, this in itself would not prevent employers from ignoring reduced working time in practice, this in itself would not prevent employers from forcing workers to do more overtime than the limit, and the reduction of working time in itself would not prevent employers from not paying for workers' overtime. It means we must not only reduce working time by law, we must not only limit the amount of workers' overtime by law, but we must technically guarantee the enforcement of these achievements in everyday reality, and we must also technically guarantee the full payment of workers' overtime. Full payment of workers' overtime, this is what the Red Card Project is about, showing the red card to exploitation, to the non-payment of workers' overtime.
2. The Red Card Project: We Must Show The Red Card To Exploitation; A Project Ensuring The Full Payment Of Workers' Overtime
Even if we introduce working time reductions, even if we limit workers' overtime by law, employers can still try to violate these laws in everyday reality, they can still try to force workers to do more overtime than the limit and they can still try not to pay for workers' overtime. Therefore, we must prevent violations of labor rights and social regulations in practice, we must not only make laws, but we must technically guarantee them in everyday reality and take action against violations committed by employers. We can introduce new social laws extending labor rights, but employers will still try to violate these laws and regulations in practice, this is why we must technically guarantee the enforcement of labor rights, the rights of the workers in everyday reality. Since there is an unequal relationship between workers and employers, and workers fear their jobs and are afraid of being fired, they rarely confront their employers and rarely report violations committed by their employers against workers' rights. This is why we have to support workers in this unequal relationship against abuses and violations by employers. It is not enough to reduce working hours, it is not enough to limit workers' overtime, we have to technically guarantee the reduction of working hours, the limit on workers' overtime, and we must technically guarantee the full payment of workers' overtime.
Each worker will receive a personal, red-colored access card (expressing the color of the labor rights movement), and every working day, workers will check-in when they arrive at work and check-out when they finish work that day. Each worker's red access card will record the total time its holder spends at work each day (but it will only record the total time its holder spends at work each day, it will not record the worker's time of arrival at work and leave from work; the purpose of the project is to enforce the rights and interests of the workers, to record their weekly and monthly overtime, thus make their overtime fully paid, not to monitor workers). It means that the system will calculate each worker's weekly and monthly overtime. During each month, the IT system of the project will send updated summaries to employers of each worker's total overtime until that time of the month, with an accuracy of a second. Each worker will decide with their employer if their overtime will be paid or the worker will work fewer hours in the upcoming days of the month, that would compensate the worker for the accumulated overtime, that would balance out the accumulated overtime of the worker in the given month. Every week, employers will get this updated summary of each worker's accumulated overtime until that time of the month, which means employers will get a clear picture of each worker's overtime and decide with each worker together whether the accumulated overtime will be paid in addition to the monthly salary of the worker, or the particular worker will work fewer hours in the upcoming part of the month, thereby the accumulated overtime will be balanced out. Overtime will have to be paid by employers, otherwise workers will have the right to work as much less time in the upcoming days of the month as much overtime they worked previously in that month, that compensates them for their accumulated overtime.
The calculation of weekly overtime for each worker will be based on the workweek that the given worker has as a work schedule. For all those workers who choose the opportunity of the 32-hour workweek, working time over 32 working hours a week will count as weekly overtime. Workers rejecting the 32-hour workweek will also have a red access card and their weekly overtime will be calculated as well, their final monthly overtime will also be paid, but their weekly overtime will count over 40 working hours a week. In the case of truncated weeks, the threshold will decrease according to the number of days the truncated week consists of and the work schedule the given worker has (e.g. in the case of a 1-day truncated week of the 4-day-32-hour workweek, the weekly overtime threshold will be 8 hours; in the case of a 2-day truncated week of the 4-day-32-hour workweek, the weekly overtime threshold will be 16 hours; in the case of a 3-day truncated week of the 4-day-32-hour workweek, the weekly overtime threshold will be 24 hours). The sum of the weekly overtime will determine the final, monthly overtime. At the end of each month, employers will get a month-end summary that shows each worker's remained overtime with an accuracy of a second, and employers will have to pay the remained monthly overtime of each worker completely. During the month, employers will receive updated summaries of each worker's accumulated overtime until that time of the month, it means that the employer and the worker could decide together if the overtime accumulated during the month will be paid by the employer, in addition to the monthly salary of the worker, or the worker will work fewer hours in the upcoming days of the month, which compensates the worker for the accumulated overtime and balances out the previously accumulated overtime in the given month. Employers will have to add the payment of each worker's remained monthly overtime to the monthly salary of the workers fully, and employers could not postpone this payment, they will have to accomplish the payment of workers' overtime every month. This is important to prevent the non-payment of workers' overtime, not giving employers any chance to shirk this obligation. When an employment relationship between an employer and a worker is over, the employer will have to pay the remained overtime of the worker fully.
The IT system of the Red Card Project will contain the salary of each worker in the EU and it will record their working hours and calculate their monthly overtime. Employers will have to pay each worker's overtime remained by the end of the month completely, adding it to the monthly salary of the workers. During the month, employers will get the updated summaries of the accumulated overtime of each worker; the accumulated overtime can be balanced out by workers working fewer hours in the upcoming days of the month, but each worker's overtime that remains by the end of the month will have to be paid by employers completely. The IT system of the project will include the salary of each worker in the EU and it will calculate each worker's monthly overtime that remains by the end of the month. The IT system will check each worker's payroll every month and check if the payment of their remained monthly overtime is fully added to their monthly salary or not, which means the system will check if employers paid each worker's monthly overtime completely or not. If any employer does not pay the remained monthly overtime of any worker fully, that employer will receive an enormous penalty. The Red Card Project will guarantee the enforcement of the limit on workers' overtime in practice, since it will record each worker's remained monthly overtime, which means it will indicate if any employer breaks the overtime limit and forces any worker to do more overtime than the limit determined by law in the given EU country. Any employer that breaks the limit on workers' overtime will get a huge penalty.
This is how we can technically guarantee the full payment of workers' overtime in practice. In this way, we will not only reduce working time with the 32-hour workweek project, but we will technically guarantee the reduction of working hours with the introduction of the Red Card Project, that technically guarantees the enforcement of the limit on workers' overtime and that technically guarantees the accurate payment of each worker's overtime in practice. My proposal is this comprehensive and coherent package: reducing working hours by introducing the 32-hour workweek; limiting workers' overtime; the full payment of each worker's overtime; and the Red Card Project that technically guarantees and enforces these achievements in practice.