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With summer just around the corner and the pandemic losing its grip, people are starting to make plans on where to go for their vacations and for how long.
In 2021, Korean workers took an average of 3.7 days off for summer holidays, according to a survey conducted on 720 firms by the Korea Enterprises Federation. Despite the pandemic having brought travel to a standstill, the results showed that summer vacations days did not stray far from previous averages of 3-4 days.
Short vacation, coupled with long working hours, has long been cited as the downsides of working in Korea.
There have been attempts in the past to make a two-week vacation a reality.
Lee Cham, a German-born naturalized Korean who headed the Korea Tourism Organization between 2009 and 2013 as its president, famously campaigned for a long, refreshment break. In 2020, to set an example for others to follow, executives of the tourism agency submitted to the firm their plans to fully use up their leave days in the future.
Some companies followed suit, including Shinhan Bank which made a two-week vacation compulsory for its employee.
But outside of a few big-name firms and start-ups, the initiative has failed to take root.
While announcing the direction of economic policy for 2019, the previous Moon Jae-in administration said the government would encourage public servants to go on two weeks’ vacation in order to spread the practice to private companies. But amid the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, talk of long vacation came to a complete stop.
By Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)