'Why are they trying to go against the flow?'

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'Why are they trying to go against the flow?'

The Future Labor Research Council, a think tank launched by the government, presented recommendations to reform the labor market including suggesting amendments related to working hour regulations.
At the heart of the recommendations is the extension of work hours with an aim of introducing a flexible application of the 52-hour workweek. To be more specific, it recommended allowing workers to work over 52 hours a week while putting a limit on total working hours over a certain period of time.
The proposal has raised concerns that the change might increase the risk of overwork. For instance, it is possible to work 69 hours a week with just one day off. Some critics say the government needs to put a limit on the total possible working hours per day or week if the new system is put in place.
The research council explained that it is possible to work for 69 hours a week in a very specific scenario, but doing so over multiple weeks is impossible, arguing that people are concerned about the worst-case scenario.
The council also emphasized that it intended to propose various ways to introduce working hour systems suitable for each business, and that a written agreement with the labor representatives is necessary to introduce the new scheme.
“52 hours is already the longest among OECD countries. Why are they trying to go against the flow?”
“The nation’s fertility rate will go down faster with extended working hours.”
“Some businesses can be operated with a 40-hour workweek. But others might require workers to work for 60 hours or sometimes 20 hours, depending on the situation.”
“In order to bolster national competitiveness, flexible working hours with a limitation on total working hours per month sounds reasonable.”
“Let the workers make the decision. It’s simple”
“Allow laborers to work overtime and increase their wages sharply. They’ll know what to do.”
“The most problematic thing is the blanket wage system. Under the scheme, workers might get the same wages regardless of working for 52 or 69 hours.”

BY KIM EUN-SONG, HAN HYE-RIM [han.hyerim1@joongang.co.kr]
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