69 hours a week? The internet reacts to the South Korean government’s push to extend working hours Kpop News
Last month, the South Korean government proposed raising the legal limit on weekly working hours from 52 to 69 to “improve work-life balance”. In 2018, the then-ruling Democratic Party introduced the 52-hour week, which included 40 hours of regular work and a maximum of 12 hours of overtime. THE Yoon Suk Yeol The government wants to raise the limit for overtime to 29 hours.
Since then, the proposal has garnered a lot of attention, with people opposing and supporting it. The current government welcomes this as a positive step to help employees better balance their time. If the 69-hour week is introduced, workers can save up their overtime and in return earn longer holidays. But critics believe it won’t be as easy as it looks. As things stand, South Koreans are heavily overworked, and the main concern with this plan is that it would give companies free rein to exploit employees.
They say that the total number of hours we work each year will remain the same or decrease… But there is always more to do. We could see more work-related deaths now if there were a 69-hour week.
—A South Korean Samsung employee, The Washington Post
Several news agencies around the world are currently reporting on this topic. A recent Reddit thread about it also went viral. People from different countries commented on the proposed plan. Many commenters were surprised that the South Korean government is even considering longer working hours, despite scientific evidence that they reduce productivity and weigh on birth rates.
But there was also support when it was suggested that the 69-hour week would be introduced as an option. The upper limit of 29 overtime hours also seemed to some to be significantly better than the current scenario in other countries.
Some people have also pointed out that this plan is the complete opposite of what some developed Western countries are doing with four-day work weeks.
The Reddit thread made its way to a Korean blogging forum, where Korean citizens expressed disapproval or embarrassment at the plan.
- “Is that why the 50% voted? Are they all employers?
- “I wish they had died.”
- “Everyone seems to know… dammit.”
- “Everyone in the world knows this, but these people work hard and pretend they don’t get it.”
- “Who the fuck elected these people, oh shit.”
- “No… are you kidding?” Whore.
- “Only Yoon Suk Yeol supporters should work 69 hours.”