SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Human Rights Commission has voiced objections to the government’s push to loosen the 52-hour limit on weekly work hours, a report showed Friday.
The Yoon Suk-yeol government is seeking to introduce flexibility to the 52-hour workweek system adopted in 2018 by the previous Moon Jae-in administration so as to meet the labor needs of different industries.
The commission said in a report submitted to Rep. Jeon Yong-gi of the main opposition Democratic Party that it will keep monitoring the issue and consider issuing an opinion or a recommendation if an excessive extension of work hours is pushed for.
“Improving the labor environment is a task that can no longer be delayed in South Korea that has longer work hours compared to member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” the rights watchdog said.
“The average yearly work hours for South Koreans stood at 1,928 hours as of 2021, compared with the OECD average in the 1,500-hour range,” the commission noted.