In South Korea, the "inhuman" 68-hour work week will be reduced to 52 hours

In South Korea, the "inhuman" 68-hour work week will be reduced to 52 hours

Categories: Asia | Economy

The President of the Republic Moon Jae-in introduces a 52-hour working week to improve the quality of life and increase the birth rate.

South Korea occupies one of the first places in the number of workaholics. In 2016, the country was second only to Mexico and Costa Rica in terms of the length of the working week. According to the adopted bill, which will come into force in July, the working week will consist of 40 hours of regular time and 12 overtime. Previously, people worked for at least 68 hours.

In South Korea, the "inhuman" 68-hour work week will be reduced to 52 hours Source: The Guardian

Reducing working hours was one of the president's election promises — as was raising the minimum wage by 16 percent, which was fulfilled in early 2018.

In the 80s and 90s, the economy of South Korea experienced significant growth, so the culture of workaholism was properly strengthened. But the birth rate began to fall significantly and reached a record low in 2017. The Minister for Family and Gender Equality, Chun Hung Bak, called working hours "inhumanly long" and said that they had become a key factor in the population aging too quickly.

In South Korea, the "inhuman" 68-hour work week will be reduced to 52 hours

In South Korea, as in Japan, where people literally die from overwork, in large corporations it is considered normal to stay at work late at night and go to work on demand on weekends and holidays.

As the lawmakers suggest, an increase in free time will improve the quality of life of Korean citizens and increase labor productivity and employment in the country. And it will cost businesses about $11 billion a year to maintain the same level of production, according to the Korea Institute of Economic Research.

For comparison: in Russia, the working time cannot exceed 40 hours a week, that is, 8 hours a day. 52 hours is almost 10.5 hours if you work only on weekdays, without overtime on weekends. And the previous 68 hours — 13.5 hours a day.

In South Korea, the "inhuman" 68-hour work week will be reduced to 52 hours

Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — the number of working hours per year. South Korea ranks second.

Keywords: Work | Workaholic | Clock | South korea

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