Korean government proposes 69-hour workweek, netizens react
The South Korean government has proposed raising the current national cap from 52 hours a week to 69 hours to improve work-life balance.
The Labor Minister said on March 9 that raising the cap by a third would give working mothers more choice and help them raise their children amid growing concerns about falling birth rates across the country.
The Government says it will allow people who want to take longer breaks – such as parents or carers – to allow workers to work more overtime in exchange for later time off.
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.
Yoon Suk Yeol’s government plans to raise the overtime limit to 29 hours.
But the opposition Democratic Party, which introduced the 52-hour week in 2018, said the new plan risks rising unemployment because it could allow employers to lay off workers and ask those who stay to work longer hours.
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 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 Samsung employee
The news broke internationally, while several countries in Europe are trying the 4-day week instead.
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.
However, some pointed out that the 69-hour week would be introduced as an option. The overtime limit of 29 hours also seemed to some to be significantly better than the current scenario in other countries.
Korean netizens have heard about the many international news stories about it, as well as foreigners’ comments.
As a result, many Korean netizens have expressed their shame at this measure and that other countries around the world are seeing what Korea is planning.
- “Is that why the 50% voted? Are they all employers? »
- “I want them to die. »
- “Everyone seems to know… dammit. »
- “Everyone in the world knows this, but these people (the politicians) work hard and pretend they don’t understand. »
- “Who the fuck elected these people, oh shit. »
- “No… are you kidding?” Damned. »
- “Only Yoon Suk Yeol supporters should work 69 hours. »
What do you think ?
South Koreans worked 500 hours more than the French last year