Some re­lief seen for Asia’s most over­worked em­ploy­ees

New Straits Times - - Business World -

SEOUL: South Kore­ans work the long­est hours in Asia, get­ting in­struc­tions from bosses well into the night and fore­go­ing many of their al­lot­ted days off.

Some re­lief could be on the way. Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in promised to stop bosses from de­liv­er­ing or­ders through so­cial me­dia or mobile mes­sages af­ter hours (ex­cept when “un­avoid­able”), cut an­nual hours by al­most 15 per cent and pro­vide al­ter­nate days off when pub­lic hol­i­days fall on week­ends.

South Kore­ans spent 11 hours a week us­ing smart­phones, tablets and lap­tops to work on week­ends or af­ter hours dur­ing the week, a 2015 sur­vey by the Korea Labour In­sti­tute found.

Ex­perts said a better work-life bal­ance would help re­lieve some of the coun­try’s most chronic and press­ing prob­lems, in­clud­ing a fer­til­ity rate that ranks among the worst in the world, slug­gish do­mes­tic de­mand and a fe­male labour-par­tic­i­pa­tion rate far be­low that of men.

Ear­lier this year, law­mak­ers failed to pass a re­vi­sion to the labour law cap­ping weekly work­ing hours at 52, down from 68, due to dis­agree­ments over how to treat work done on the week­end. Bloomberg

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