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Seoul scores highest on work-life balance in Korea

Among Korea’s 17 metropolises and provinces, Seoul showed the highest level of work-life balance, a government survey showed.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor on Friday announced the results of its work-life balance index by region for 2017.

The indices, developed by the Korean Women’s Development Institute, are a compilation of subindices that indicate the level of balance in time spent on work and time spent outside work, balance between the genders and attitudes toward work-life balance.


The national average index for work-life balance was 37.1 points out of 100.

Seoul scored the highest at 43.1, followed by Busan (39.5), Daejeon (38.4), Ulsan (38.2), South Gyeongsang Province (37.7) and North Jeolla Province (37.4). North Chungcheong and South Chungcheong provinces held the lowest marks at 34.8.

Seoul had the highest rate of workplaces allowing both men and women to take leave for child care and allow shorter work hours for parents of young children.

A ministry official noted that this was mainly due to the fact that Seoul had the highest rate of workplaces with large employee bases and high revenues, which are required by law to implement such measures.

Seoul had the shortest average work hours (166.3 hours per month) and least overtime hours (5.2 hours per month). The rate of national and public child care facilities was also high.

Busan, which has a city government unit dedicated to work-life balance, showed higher-than-average scores across all subindices.

Daejeon showed a high rate of workplaces that allow both men and women take childcare leave, and a high level of perception of the importance of work-life balance.

The ministry plans to use the indices in policymaking to raise awareness and improve work-life balance in each region.

By Kim So-hyun (
catch table
Korea Herald daum