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South Korean steel sector urged to join shorter workweek

Steel News - Published on Fri, 13 Jul 2018

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Yonhap reported that South Korea's vice industry minister called on the local steel industry to take active part in the country's newly introduced shorter workweek. The new workweek system went into effect this month, requiring both private and public companies with 300 or more employees to reduce the maximum working hours to 52 hours per week from 68 hours. According to the ministry, Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee In-ho made the call in a meeting with the head of Dongkuk Steel Mill Co's factory in Incheon, west of Seoul, and representatives from its subcontractors.

Mr Lee was quoted as saying that "The start of the 52-hour workweek era will not only improve the public's quality of life, but also help turn domestic companies into advanced businesses. The steel industry should take active part in cutting working hours."

Mr Lee said that "The government will make concerted efforts to provide support in order to help the shorter workweek take root at workplaces in a speedy and smooth manner.”

Admitting the new system may initially cause some hardships to companies, Lee exchanged views with the participants on how to minimize its side effects.

Under the new workweek system, employees can do up to 40 hours of regular work and 12 hours of extra work. Business owners can face up to two years in jail or a fine of up to 20 million won (USD 17,730) for violations after a six-month grace period.

The system, one of President Moon Jae-in's key election promises, is designed to cut what's often called "inhumanely long" working hours in South Korea and improve work-life balance for workers.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 13 Jul 2018
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