Bareun Party Presidential Hopeful Pledges Work-Life Balance for Overworked Koreans

Bareun Party Presidential Hopeful Pledges Work-Life Balance for Overworked Koreans

SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Yoo Seong-min, a potential presidential hopeful from the splinter Bareun Party, on Wednesday unveiled a set of pledges to improve workplace conditions including cutting legal work hours and guaranteeing a minimum rest time.

   Yoo said South Koreans' work hours hover far above those of other advanced economies, hurting the balance of work and family life and impeding the creation of new jobs for youth and women. 

   Yoo cited 2015 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data that showed South Koreans worked an average 2,113 hours annually, far more than 1,766 hours among its members.

   "The data show South Koreans work 347 more hours, or 43 more days," Yoo said. "There must be ground-breaking and stern actions to significantly reduce work hours."

   He vowed to adopt a "minimum rest time," which guarantees workers a rest period of at least 11 hours before returning to work.

   The potential contender also pledged to introduce an annual cap on overtime work instead of the existing weekly limit of 12 hours.

   Yoo said he will seek to ban employers from contacting employees through mobile phones or social media to give orders. The lawmaker claimed even being on call outside the office should be considered as overtime and paid accordingly.'

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