South Korea's incoming president once criticized the country's 52_freckle removal gold coast

Huileng Tan·3 min read
South Korean next president Yoon Suk-yeol
Conservative Yoon Suk-yeol of the People Power Party won South Korea's presidential election on Wednesday.Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
  • Conservative Yoon Suk-yeol of the People Power Party won South Korea's presidential election on Wednesday.

  • He had previously criticized a 52-hour workweek policy and said workers should be able to work 120 hours.

  • Yoon made a series of controversial comments on his campaign trail.

South Korea has been trying to put an end to chronic overwork — but the country's incoming president has in the past appeared to push for even longer work hours.

Conservative Yoon Suk-yeol of the People Power Party won South Korea's presidential election on Wednesday. In July, Yoon criticized outgoing President Moon Jae-in's policy to promote better work-life balance. Moon's policy limits the hours people can work to 52 hours a week — that's 40 hours a week, plus another 12 hours of overtime.

Yoon said the system should allow for more flexibility, as some workers — such as game developers — may need to work longer hours during peak periods before going on an extended break.

"Workers should be allowed to work 120 hours a week and then take a good rest," he said, according to the Korea Times. His suggestion of 120 hours a week is the equivalent of five 24-hour days.

The average South Korean worker worked 1,908 hours in 2020 (36.69 hours a week), according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD.) That's one of highest hours-worked totals across the 38-country economic organization, behind only Costa Rica, Mexico, and Colombia. In the US, for comparison, the average worker put in 1,767 hours of work in 2020 (33.98 hours a week).

Although South Korea's working hours in 2020 looked punishing, they were down from 1,967 hours in 2019 and 2,106 hours in 2013, per OECD data.

South Korea is known for its hard-driving work culture. Workplace traditions such as long hours and weekend work are rife — even at startups. There have also been reports of delivery workers who have died from overwork.

(editor:)

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