Koreans discuss the 69-hour work week
While the city of Zurich is trying a 35-hour week for municipal companies, the government in South Korea wants to increase working hours. It was bang on.
If he has his way, the 69-hour week will be an end: Yoon Suk-yeol, the conservative president of the South Korean government, is a staunch supporter of long working hours. His party has proposed increasing the maximum working hours in parliament, the current maximum working hours are 52 hours per week.
This is in stark contrast to the movements of Europe. The four-day week has been an issue for years, with companies moving across Great Britain A positive result from a pilot period has now come to an end. The Zurich city parliament recently spoke out in favor of an initiative to reduce weekly working hours in city administration – Tests are conducted there for 35 hours a week.
Fatalities due to overwork
The reason the government in South Korea wants to expand in a different direction is because of the Korean work culture. According to a survey by the OECD, the East Asian country of 52 million people worked an average of 1,908 hours in 2020 – fourth in the world behind Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica. In Switzerland it was 1,495 in the same year. In 2021, 739 applications for compensation for overwork deaths were submitted to the state labor ministry.
The Conservatives’ programs have so far been rejected, with protests from unions, youth organizations and, above all, the opposition in parliament being massive. “It legalizes working from 9 a.m. to midnight for five consecutive days. No consideration is given to workers’ health and recreation,” wrote the Confederation of Korean Trade Unions. “Guardian” In a statement.
The birth rate is very low
The maximum working hours set by law at 52 hours per week since 2018 has been the subject of intense debate due to South Korea’s low birth rate. A Korean woman gives birth to an average of 0.78 children, with 249,000 children nationwide in 2022 – the lowest value since the census began in 1970.
The conservative ruling party, the People’s Power Party led by President Yoon, believes that increasing working hours will lead to an increase in births. Labor Secretary Lee argued that raising the cap would allow working mothers in particular to accumulate more overtime hours, which they could then exchange for family and caregiver leave. This was not well received by the women’s groups. “Men work long hours and are exempt from caregiving responsibilities and rights, while women have to do all the caregiving work,” the Korean Women’s Association United said in a statement.
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