Speed Reads


South Korea drops its maximum weekly working hours from 68 to 52

The work week is now going to be easier to get through in South Korea, with legislation now in effect that cuts the country's maximum weekly working hours from 68 to 52.

Members of the National Assembly overwhelmingly supported lowering the hours. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development studied work habits in 37 countries, and found that last year, the average person in South Korea worked 38.9 hours a week, the third highest number (Mexico took top honors, with the average person working 43.4 hours per week). Companies with more than 300 employees must start abiding by the legislation immediately, while smaller companies have until 2020 and 2021, CNN reports.

South Korea is dealing with a rapidly aging population, having one of the world's lowest fertility rates, and people suffering from stress and other health issues due to working so many hours. Ellen Kossek, professor of management at the Purdue University Krannert School of Management, said it will be interesting to see how the new law is enforced, but it's "a good move in the right direction."