Ruling party to consider expanding flexible working hours system

SEOULThe ruling Democratic Party will consider allowing companies to flexibly adjust working hours of employees in a six-month lump-sum manner from the current three months, the party's floor leader said Wednesday.

Rep. Hong Young-pyo made the remark in a phone call with Yonhap News Agency, two days after President Moon Jae-in and the floor leaders of the ruling and opposition parties agreed to expand the flexible working hours system.

The measure is aimed at lessening the burden of businesses in the wake of the cut in the maximum hours to 52 hours a week. But labor circles have strongly protested the move, saying it will offset the effects of the reduction in working hours.

Currently, businesses can adjust working hours of employees as long as the total hours in a three-month period do not exceed the legal limit so that employees can work longer hours when there is a lot of work and fewer hours when things are slower.

"We can consider expanding the flexible working hour system to about six months," Hong said, adding that expanding the flexible working hour system was something that the rival parties agreed to discuss later when they passed the working hour reduction through the National Assembly earlier this year.

Hong said the move to expand the flexibility came in consideration of the economic situation.

"Labor circles should participate in dialogue without unconditionally raising objections," he said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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