Companies send employees home in line with Level 4 rules

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Companies send employees home in line with Level 4 rules

Desks at an office in Sejong Government Complex are empty after the government tightened social distancing measures in April. [YONHAP]

Desks at an office in Sejong Government Complex are empty after the government tightened social distancing measures in April. [YONHAP]

 
Korean companies are announcing measures to send employees home as daily cases of Covid-19 reach new highs. 
 
From Friday, LG Electronics ordered 50 percent of its employees to work from home. Before the latest surge of Covid-19 cases, about 40 percent of the company's employees were working remotely. 
 
Starting from Monday, the company also banned employees from going on business trips, including domestic ones, having external meetings or participating in group training sessions.  
 
SK Inc., the holding unit of SK Group, sent a notice to employees, Thursday, telling them they should all work from home for a week, apart from necessary staff that cannot work outside the office. Mobile carrier SK Telecom, decided to apply the same rule from Monday for two weeks.  
 
Oil refiner SK Innovation made telecommuting mandatory for all staff from Monday, except for exceptional cases, but did not designate when the period would end. Face-to-face meetings will have to be approved by senior executives. The company will prohibit more than 30 percent of necessary employees from coming to the office. 
 
Hanwha Group also tightened rules, Friday. Every affiliate was told to send at least one third of employees home to work. It was recommended that 50 percent of staff work remotely. Face-to-face meetings and private gatherings were prohibited for employees.  
 
At Hyundai Heavy Industries, each team will only be allowed 30 percent of their members to show up at the office, down from the previous 50 percent. Meetings and group training sessions inside the company should have 10 people or less.
 
Banks in the greater Seoul area also decided to reduce operating hours to close an hour earlier, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
 
The decisions are in line with the government's implementation of the strongest, Level Four social distancing measures from Monday.  
 
In the greater Seoul area including Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi, citizens will be banned from all private gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m. Schools were required to send students home from Wednesday.  
 
Korea added 1,316 new infections Friday, the highest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic in January 2020.
 
 

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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