Go to contents

Finance Circles Recommend Decrease in Public Holidays

Posted April. 11, 2005 23:31,   


Five economic groups, including the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, and the Korea Employers Federation submitted a recommendation to the government saying that the number of public holidays should be decreased to enhance businesses’ international competitiveness yesterday.

The summary is taking Foundation Day of Korea (October 3) from the public holiday list and moving Children’s Day (May 5) and Memorial Day (June 6) to the first Mondays of May and June, respectively, and starting in 2012, when every business will start weekly working hours of 40 hours, they want Children’s Day and Memorial Day removed as well.

Because the government decided to remove Arbor Day (April 5) and Constitution Day (July 17), if Foundation Day gets removed as well, there will only be 14 legal public holidays a year.

The five economic groups explained that, “After comparing 20 years (2006-2025) of public holidays with other countries, out of 14 days, including Worker’s Day, Korea has 10.3 real holiday days per year (excluding 3.7 days on Saturdays and Sundays).”

To this, Korea Confederation of Trade Unions spokesman Lee Soo-bong said, “According to last month’s OECD announcement, Korean labourers worked the most (2,390 hours per year) out of OECD countries in 2003. The five economic groups’ argument of decreasing public holidays is irrational.”

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com