Gov’t to consider ultraflexible working hours

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 31, 2014 - 18:39
  • Updated : Mar 31, 2014 - 18:39
The South Korean government may introduce a new employment system with working hours of as little as one hour per day as part of the effort to meet its employment rate goal, a local daily reported Monday.

According to reports, the Ministry of Employment and Labor is evaluating the “ultraflexible work” system, which allows a person to work as little as one or two hours a day.

The proposed system is modeled after the U.K.’s “Slivers-of-Time” project and Japan’s part-time market, which utilizes part-time workers and automated computer systems.

The new system comes as the Park Geun-hye administration pushes to raise the employment rate to 70 percent by encouraging the economically inactive population to enter the labor market.

“The idea is that people who can only work for short periods of time, for reasons such as housework or caretaking for a patient, can utilize their spare time,” an unnamed Labor Ministry official was quoted as saying by a local daily. He cited working in a cafe only during the peak hours as an example.

However, some are voicing concerns that the government is just focusing on meeting its employment rate target, and that the system would create only low-quality jobs.