SEJONG, June 30 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government is promoting a large-scale, public-private joint campaign to establish a new work-life balanced corporate culture.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor held the “Second Public-Private Council on Work-Life Balanced Culture” at the Seoul Job Center on Thursday, June 30, along with other relevant authorities and economic groups to announce its plan to carry forward the joint campaign.
The Council will sponsor four major campaigns, including discouraging companies from asking employees to give a reason for taking vacation; asking companies to refrain from calling or sending text messages to employees past their working hours; choosing and sharing five words that advocate and discourage work-life balanced culture; and promoting CEO involvement in improving corporate culture.
Specifying a reason for vacation has been condemned by many as it discourages employees from asking to take time off.
A campaign to ban off-work communications is being introduced so that employees who do not answer work-related calls or text messages outside of their regular working hours do not come across as being rude. Some even encourage the development and use of a common response system such as an auto-responder that states: “Due to company policy, any calls or messages received out of office hours will not be answered. Please contact us again at a later time”.
A contest to select words that promote or discourage work-life balanced culture will be held to increase public awareness through events where citizens can submit their own corporate language, idioms, or neologisms that reflect the recent movement.
A CEO involvement campaign will lead company CEOs to contribute to the establishment of new work-life balanced corporate culture by actually being involved in activities such as promotional videos and relays.
Besides the four campaigns, the Council will also promote flexible work hours, hiring temporary employees during maternity leave, expanding day care centers at work, and even encouraging paternity leave for anyone who wishes to take leave for one to three months.
“Changing corporate culture requires an intense effort from both the public and private sectors. Hopefully, this new campaign will spread work-life balanced corporate culture so that workers will enjoy a better quality of life,” said vice-minister Go Young-sun.
The government will urge companies without a paternity leave policy to adopt the change, and will also launch a hotline for small businesses to support them in creating day care centers and a supervisory body to oversee any businesses that violate maternity or parental leave policies.
The Council includes the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and several economic groups such as the Korea Employers Federation, the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Korea International Trade Association, and the Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)