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May golden holidays a 'pie in the sky' for SME employees

May golden holidays a 'pie in the sky' for SME employees

Posted April. 24, 2017 07:32,   

Updated April. 24, 2017 07:35


Most of the office workers of conglomerates will enjoy up to 11 days of “golden holiday” during the first week of May when sandwiched holidays are interspersed. Still, most employees working at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are likely to spend their days marked in “red” on calendars at their workplaces, regardless of their collars.

According to the “2017 Plan for Temporary Holidays” based on a survey of 250 SMEs last week, the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Businesses (K-Biz) found on Sunday that only 54 percent planned to take at least a day off on May 2, 4, or 8. Others showed that 30.4 percent of SMEs had no holiday plans at all, and 15.6 percent of them have yet to decide.

On the first week of May, holidays are lined up, including the Labor Day on May 1, Buddha’s Birthday on May 3, Children’s Day on May 5, and Parent’s Day on May 8. When employees are given additional holidays on sandwiched days, a maximum of 11 days can be enjoyed, from April 29 to the May 9 presidential election day.

SMEs, which have no plans on that week, cited reasons such as “observing delivery date (33.3 percent)” and “loss in production or sales due to halted operation (29.2 percent).”


Many were those who could not rest even on national holidays, let alone the paid-leave days. Among those, 34.1 percent of SMEs answered they will work on May 1, followed by 23.7 percent on May 3, and 11.1 percent on May 5. Only 49.6 percent of SMEs answered they will take a day off on May 9, the temporary holiday set for the presidential election.


“The general public has high hopes for the upcoming golden holidays in early May, but a significant number of SME employees cannot rest. We wish conglomerates extend deadlines for delivery so that SME employees can also rest as well,” said Kim Kyung-man, chief of Economic Policies at K-Biz.