Business community calls for improved system on shorter workweek

SEJONG-- South Korea's business community on Monday asked the government to improve the system on a looming shorter workweek at smaller firms.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry -- which speaks for the country's businesses -- and other business associations said there are difficulties in applying the shorter workweek system to all industrial sectors.

The business community made the latest appeal in a meeting with Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom at the chamber of commerce in central Seoul.

Kim said the government will try to take into account the business community's request in its policy, according to the finance ministry.

Last year, the 52-hour workweek went into effect for companies with more than 300 employees. Firms with 50 to 299 workers and those with five to 49 workers will be subject to the new rule starting Jan. 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, respectively.

The move came as many young South Koreans seek to strike a balance between work and life, and it is in line with President Moon Jae-in's key election pledges to enhance the quality of life for workers and help create jobs.

Still, critics say that the shorter workweek could undermine corporate competitiveness, including in the research and development sector. Some workers also complain that the reduced working hours led to a reduction in their earnings.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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