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Employers conditionally accept five-day workweek

Korea Herald, 23 June 2000

The Korea Employers Federation, the nation’s largest employer association, said yesterday that it will conditionally accept labor’s demand for a five-day workweek.

After meeting to discuss the issue of shorter working hours at a Seoul hotel, KEF leaders said they will positively consider the labor’s call for shortening the legal working hours from the current 44 hours a week to 40 hours. In terms of an eight-hour workday, the 40- hour workweek means a five-day workweek for local workers.

As preconditions for the introduction of the five-day workweek, however, the KEF set out a seven-point demand, including the abolition of a monthly day off and a special monthly leave for women.

Other preconditions demanded by the KEF included cuts in overtime pay, introduction of a ceiling in annual paid leave and flexibility in the introduction of the five-day workweek by industry and company size.

Lately, the five-day workweek emerged as a hot issue in business circles in the wake of President Kim Dae-jung’s favorable reaction to shorter labor hours for local workers. In an apparent bid to stave off a nationwide strike, President Kim said early this month that the government is willing to positively review labor’s demands for the introduction of a five-day workweek.

(Korea Herald )
Vol.200006 No.52