South Korea introduces 52-hour maximum working week

Law introduced to improve work-life balance

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 03 July 2018 15:29
comments
South Koreans will be allowed 40 hours of regular work, as well as 12 hours overtime
South Koreans will be allowed 40 hours of regular work, as well as 12 hours overtime

South Korean workers will be given more time off work after the country reduced its maximum working hours from 68 to 52.

The change was introduced on Sunday to improve employees’ work-life balance.

Workers in the East Asian nation put in around 2,024 hours in total in 2017, the third highest among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Overall, South Koreans will be allowed 40 hours of regular work, as well as 12 hours overtime.

Companies with more than 300 employees, public institutions and government offices will be the first to implement the new law.

Smaller companies will follow suit in 2020 and 2021.

Business owners who break the rule could face up to two years in prison or a fine up to 20 million won (£14,000).

Five sectors, including healthcare and transportation, are exempt from the new law.

It comes as part of a move by the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, to give South Koreans their “right to rest” by cutting working hours.

Earlier this year, he increased the country’s minimum wage by 16 per cent.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments