South Korea considers banning work texts outside working hours
South Korea is debating whether it is necessary to ban work-related texts outside work hours after a relevant bill was submitted last week.
The proposed bill prohibits employers from making repeated or constant work-related instructions via phone calls, emails, text messages or social media after statutory working hours.
Over the past few years, large firms have banned sending work-related messages after 10pm, but many workers still complain of stress due to work messages being sent outside working hours, reports The Korea Herald.
“Repeated and constant work instructions outside work hours should be seen as ‘gapjil’ or workplace bullying,” said Rep. Noh Woong-rae of the main opposition Democratic Party, who proposed the bill.
“A legal deterrent is necessary to eradicate bad habits and protect workers’ rights,” he explained.
“Once the boss gives an instruction, a junior staff has to read it, and is likely to think about when and how he should do the job. This disturbs him while he’s off-duty and infringes on his right to rest,” Kwon Ho-hyun, a lawyer with non-governmental organisation Workplace Gabjil 119, told a South Korean broadcaster.