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Samsung trips can be a family affair

May 16,2014
Samsung Electronics employees are now able to accompany their family members on business trips overseas, making it the first Korean conglomerate to adopt such a measure, Samsung officials said yesterday.

The new policy, which took effect yesterday, allows employees heading to a foreign country for a business trip to take their parents, spouses or children with them if they get approval from the head of their department.

The goal of the new policy is to ensure workers are “not only an efficient employee but also a good child, spouse or parent,” said an official of the company.

The decision reflects a global trend of companies taking into consideration their employees’ well-being, the official said. Apple, Microsoft and General Electric have reportedly also implemented a similar policy.

Samsung Electronics’ policy only covers the cost for the employee’s trip and not the family members. The company also prohibits the employee from seeking benefits for their family during their business trips, such as free tours.

Business trips that involve classified corporate strategies are excluded from the new measure. This includes major tech shows in which Samsung would unveil a new technology or product, such as the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the IFA in Germany or the Mobile World Congress in Spain.

Business trips related to major sporting events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are not covered under the policy either, given the high security at such events and the heavy workload required of the employees who are attending.

The families are allowed to accompany an employee to any country that the government allows Koreans to travel to.

At the end of last year, Samsung Electronics had about 96,000 employees. Samsung Group, which is looking to change its work motto from “work hard” to “work smart,” is considering expanding the policy to its other affiliates if it proves successful. Samsung Group had 75 affiliates with 420,000 employees worldwide as of the end of last year.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]





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