SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill aimed at shortening working hours despite businesses’ concerns about increased labor costs.
The revision to the Labor Standards Act calls for reducing the country’s maximum statutory working hours to 52 hours a week from the current 68 hours.
The working hours under the revision comprise 40 hours a week and up to 12 hours for overtime work. Under the current rule, a worker can be expected to labor for a maximum of 68 hours, including up to 16 hours on the weekend.
The Assembly passed the bill in a 151-11 vote with 32 abstentions.
To cushion the possible impact from the reduction, the revisionwill be applied in stages.
It will be applied to companies with 300 or more workers onJuly 1, while firms with 50 to 299 workers and those with five to 49 workers will be subject to the new rule starting Jan. 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, respectively.
The number of business types exempt from the working hour limits will be curtailed from the previous 26 to five involving transportation services and health care.
The cut in working hours is one of President Moon Jae-in’s key election pledges to enhance the quality of life for laborers and help create jobs.