Holidays on Sunday will be made up for in 2014

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Holidays on Sunday will be made up for in 2014

Starting next year, civil servants will get an extra day off if national holidays such as the three-day Lunar New Year or Chuseok holidays fall on a Sunday, the government announced yesterday.

Private companies are expected to follow suit.

The Ministry of Security and Public Administration said yesterday it will revise a law governing holidays for government workers that will enable them to get an extra day off.

Basically, civil servants will be compensated if a national holiday falls on a Sunday, which they would have had off anyway.

Under the regulation, public servants will receive an extra day off for the three-day Chuseok holiday next year because the first day falls on Sunday Sept. 7. The ministry said civil service will get Sept. 10 off instead, extending the Chuseok holiday.

“As a large number of people flock to their hometowns during the two biggest holidays of the year, Chuseok and Lunar New Year, we decided to give workers a day off following a holiday that falls on a Sunday,” said Kim Jang-ho, an official at the Public Administration Ministry.

For Children’s Day, which falls on May 5, public workers will get a day off if it falls on either a Saturday or a Sunday.

“We expect public workers to have a 1.1 day increase on average in national holidays thanks to the revision,” said the ministry in a statement released yesterday.

National Assembly members first brought up the issue last April and tried to submit a revision to cover workers in both the public and private sector.

But the Public Administration Ministry decided to apply the law to civil servants first, believing that private companies would eventually follow suit.

“We expect private companies to introduce the same holiday substitution measure [next year],” said Kim of the Public Administration Ministry.

Response to the idea was mixed. “There are 16 national holidays in Korea, more than the OECD’s average of 11.3 days,” said Korea Economic Institute Researcher Byun Yang-gyu, yesterday, at a seminar on holidays hosted by the Federation of Korean Industries.

“Because of the rigid labor market, a reduction in working hours will cost the private sector.”


BY KIM WON-BAE, KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]
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