SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — Starting from next year, employees at all workplaces in South Korea will be able to reduce their working hours to take care of their family or for their own health and learning.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced on Monday that it will expand the coverage of the working hour reduction system for family care to include small businesses with as few as one employee starting from next year.
Under the new program, workers will be able to reduce their weekly working hours to between 15 and 30 hours.
Employees will be able to apply for a reduction in working hours for up to one year, and will also be able to extend the flexible arrangement once for up to two years.
Workers can apply for a reduction in working hours for four primary reasons: family care, health care, preparation for retirement, and academic learning.
If workers apply on the basis of the above-mentioned reasons, employers are obliged to approve the request.
Employers cannot fire or disadvantage workers who take part in the working hour reduction program. If so, they can face imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to 30 million won (US$25,300).
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)