Gov’t staff to get extra day off for Chuseok

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Gov’t staff to get extra day off for Chuseok

For the first time in Korea, government workers will get an extra day off on Wednesday Sept. 10, extending the three-day Chuseok holiday under a newly revised law aimed at boosting tourism and domestic consumption.

Under the so-called “substitute holiday law” that was adopted last October at a cabinet meeting, civil servants will receive an alternative day off if a national holiday falls on a Sunday.

All public workers will receive an extra day off on Sept. 10 as the first day of the Chuseok period falls on Sept. 7, Sunday.

The new law only applies to Korea’s three national holidays: Chuseok, Lunar New Year and Children’s Day. If one day out of the three-day Chuseok or Lunar New Year holidays falls on a Sunday, officials will get an extra day off.

For Children’s Day - May 5 - public workers will get a day off if the holiday lands on either a Saturday or a Sunday.

Although the law is compulsory only for public organizations, the government expects private companies to follow the system, too.

“Although the regulations are not mandatory for us, our board members set the date [Sept. 10] as an alternative holiday to improve employee productivity,” an employee at a local conglomerate said.

But even if workers are aware of the change in the law, many employers, particularly at some small or midsize companies, will hesitate to follow it.

“It will take some time to spread the system to small or medium companies,” an official at the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, said.

BY KIM HEE-JIN, KOO HEE-RYEONG [heejin@joongang.co.kr]














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