Some relief seen for Asia’s most overworked employees
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