South Korea’s government has been forced to reconsider its plan to increase the maximum weekly working hours to 69 hours after a backlash from younger people who said it would have a negative impact on their work-life balance and health.
Business groups had complained that the current cap of 52 hours was making it difficult to meet deadlines, leading the government to propose the increase. However, protests from millennials and members of generation Z prompted President Yoon Suk-yeol to order a review of the measure and to improve communication with the public, according to his press secretary.
The move highlights the changing attitudes towards work and the desire for a better work-life balance among younger generations. Many are pushing back against the idea that longer hours necessarily lead to increased productivity, instead advocating for flexible working arrangements and time off to pursue personal interests.
South Korea has one of the longest working weeks among developed countries, and there are concerns about the impact of overwork on mental and physical health. The country has seen a rise in cases of karoshi, or death from overwork, in recent years, prompting calls for a reevaluation of work culture.
The government’s U-turn on the 69-hour workweek plan is a positive step towards addressing these concerns and listening to the voices of younger generations. It shows that public opinion can have a significant impact on policy decisions and highlights the importance of engaging with the concerns of citizens.
The move also serves as a reminder of the importance of work-life balance and the need for policies that prioritize the well-being of workers. As the world continues to evolve, it’s crucial for governments and businesses to adapt to changing attitudes toward work and ensure that policies reflect the needs and desires of citizens.
South Korea’s decision to reconsider its plan to increase the maximum weekly working hours to 69 is a positive development for workers and a reminder of the importance of listening to public opinion. It highlights the changing attitudes towards work and the need for policies that prioritize well-being and work-life balance. The move serves as a reminder that policies must evolve to reflect the needs and desires of citizens and that engagement with public concerns is crucial for effective governance.
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