Companies Feel Stress of Impending Shorter Working Week

  • By Park Soon-chan

    November 20, 2018 13:08

    Companies are getting worried a month ahead of the end of a six-month grace period before the maximum working week is reduced to 52 hours next month.

    Many have not had the time or inclination to adjust their schedules, and some are starting to panic.

    Some 60 violations were already reported between July, when the policy officially went into effect, and October, according to the Labor Ministry. Once the grace period expires, those in charge of making staff work longer hours could face up to two years in prison or fines of up to W20 million (US$1=W1,127).

    The ministry is recruiting many more agents who will crack down on violations, bringing their numbers to over 3,000 including new hires next year.

    One businessman said, "If it's not possible to extend the grace period, the government should extend the cap for a flexible working-hour system from three months to six months." Under the flexible system, if staff work more than 52 hours in one week, they can work less in another week to make sure the average does not exceed the cap.

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