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South Korea plans to increase working time to 69 hours per week


President Yoon Seok-youl wants to modulate the current weekly cap of 52 hours according to the needs of each company. In return, South Korean workers would get more time off.

Two countries, two continents, two visions of the world of work.

While France is committed year after year to a pension reform, which provides for a gradual increase in the retirement age to 64, South Korea wants to give a real boost to the weekly duration maximum working time for its companies.

If France is regularly divided on the thorny file of the 35 hours, set up since 2000, the South Korean government intends to allow its population to work up to... 69 hours per week, relates



That is almost double the hexagonal limit.

In detail, President Yoon Seok-youl's labor market reform plans to raise the current ceiling, which is 52 hours per week.

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If the legal weekly duration of the country is only 40 hours, employees could perform up to 12 hours of overtime.

This framework, set in 2018 by former President Moon Jae-in, aimed to prevent possible overwork among South Koreans, who have a different relationship to work than Westerners.

Given the significant labor needs, the current executive wants to give companies the opportunity to increase their pace of work according to their order book and their activity.

In other words, South Korea wants an à la carte system where each structure would adapt its working time according to demand.

Read alsoSouth Korea: the economy contracts for the first time since the start of 2020

At most, therefore, South Koreans will be able to work an additional 29 hours per week.

A measure that would pave the way, in return, for more holidays in the year over more sparse periods.

It would then be a question of transforming these overtime hours into vacation.

Beyond a desired revival of the productivity of companies by modulating their profitability, the objective claimed by the government is clear: to revitalize the birth rate of the country.

In 2024, the fertility rate will also reach 0.7 children per woman;

lowest number in the world.

And this, while the population is aging and the number of workers is expected to fall in the coming years.

union sling

While the reform is to be officially presented next month, the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor has detailed the latter's philosophy:

"If you work in ice cream factories, for example, you can work overtime seasonally, then save working hours and use them later to go on vacation longer.”

The proposal having been favorably received in business circles, it was strongly denounced by the opposition and the main trade unions.

Congressman Park Yong-jin called the reform a

"shortcut to population extinction."

According to OECD data, 18% of Koreans already worked more than 50 hours a week in 2021.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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