The Korea Herald


2 out of 3 workers in small business took less than 6 days off last year

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : March 24, 2024 - 17:13

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A recent survey showed that about 67.9 of South Koreans working at an enterprise employing less than five people had less than six days of paid leave last year, a civic group said Sunday.

Gapjil 119, a civic group focusing on workplace abuse, conducted a survey of 1,000 employees across the country to find how much time off work they got last year, in which they also found that only 12.1 percent of those working in small businesses -- those with less than five workers -- took 15 days of paid leave.

South Korea's Labor Standards Act mandates employers to give least 15 days of paid leave for anyone who worked for more than one year with 80 percent attendance, but this clause does not apply to those with less than five employees.

The survey showed that out of those working at companies with 300 or more employees, who are subject to give law-mandated breaks to their workers, only 16.1 percent had less than six days of paid leave.

While those working at small companies were more prone to the issue of not getting enough time off, the survey indicated that they were not the only ones affected by the issue. Some 37.8 percent of all respondents said they had less than six days of paid leave last year, and 34.5 percent said that they were not free to take paid leave.

Among the cases shared by the group included an employer firing an employee for asking to take a day off, and one employer prohibiting one's workers from taking three consecutive days off.

The group urged the government and lawmakers the revise the Labor Standards Act to mandate paid leave at small businesses.