Gov’t to reassess reduction in working hours, ways to boost economy

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- The government will come up with measures to improve a recently implemented shorter workweek, a presidential official said Tuesday, signaling possible changes to the mandatory reduction in working hours that many say is causing problems for both businesses and workers.

The official made the remark after a meeting of the National Economic Advisory Council.

"The National Economic Advisory Council is where the private sector can voice its views, and such concerns were delivered today," said Kim Hyun-chul, a special adviser to President Moon Jae-in for economic affairs.

"And there was consensus (among participants) that there is a need to find ways to successfully soft-land the reduced working hour system so it can lead to improvements in the quality of lives, job creation and increased productivity in the long run," he added.

The new system partially went into effect at the start of July, limiting the maximum working hours to 52 hours a week at most businesses that employ more than 300 workers for now. It is set to be expanded to most other businesses from 2020.

The work system, however, has been blamed for undermining the competitiveness of local businesses, while many workers also blame it for reduced income.

The Cheong Wa Dae official said the government will conduct on-site studies to evaluate its effect.

It will also come up with ways to enhance the competitiveness of local industries and businesses before holding a plenary session of the economic advisory council later in the year that will be chaired by the president, the Cheong Wa Dae official said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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