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South Korea Cuts Working Hours
South Korea Cuts Working Hours

South Korea Cuts Working Hours

South Korea Cuts Working Hours

South Korea has lowered its maximum working hours from 68 hours a week to 52 hours. The legislation, which went into effect Sunday, received overwhelming support in the national assembly in an effort to limit the time employees spend on the job, CNN reported.
South Korea has the third highest number of hours worked of 37 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with the average person in South Korea working about 2,024 hours in 2017, or approximately 38.9 hours a week.
Mexico clocked the most time on the job with an average of 2,257 hours (about 43.4 hours a week) in 2017, and Costa Rica worked the second most with 2,179 hours (41.9 hours a week).
On the other end of the spectrum, Germany and Denmark worked the least, with an average of 1,356 and 1,408 hours, respectively, in 2017, or 26 and 27 hours a week.
“Enforcement will be interesting,” Ellen Kossek, a professor of management at the Purdue University Krannert School of Management, said of South Korea. “I think it’s a good move in the right direction. I do know that they’re very worried about declining fertility rates as an economic problem. They’re also worried about health.”
The law first requires implementation by companies with more than 300 employees. Smaller companies must do so in 2020 and 2021.
Broader campaigns to improve work-life balance include turning off the power at Seoul City Hall on Friday evenings to encourage employees to go home.
South Korea had impressive growth after World War II as a result of factors including long hours, more education and an increase in women entering the workforce, Kossek explained.

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