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This year has the highest number of holidays in 28 years

This year has the highest number of holidays in 28 years

Posted January. 06, 2018 07:35,   

Updated January. 06, 2018 08:10


The year 2018 has as many as 69 statutory holidays. This year’s public holidays mostly fall on Tuesday or Thursday, so if you take a day off, there will be seven long holiday periods lasting for three days and more.

According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety Friday, 2018 has a total of 69 holidays, the highest number of holidays in 28 years since 1990 at 70 days. The increased number of holidays is because a by-election day is statutorily set on June 13, and substitute holidays for Children’s Day and Chuseok holiday, which overlap with a weekend, are added this year. If Saturdays are included, there will be 119 holidays in the year. For a worker who works five days a week, it means that he or she has day-offs every three days.

Employees, who can make the use of their annual leave, will have as many as seven long holiday lasting three days or more. The public sector and conglomerates are strongly encouraging their employees to use their annual leaves especially between holidays. This shift in attitude toward taking a day-off is thanks to the wide-spread appreciation of work and life balance in helping improve productivity.

However, the large number of holidays is nothing but a pie in the sky for non-regular or lower-level employees who are not allowed to freely take days-off due to rigid organizational culture or inflexible boss. Employees working for small and medium sized companies as well as independent business owners, who took a direct hit by minimum wage increase cannot afford to enjoy holidays to the fullest, either.

Sung-Yeol Yoo ryu@donga.com