South Korea to grant workers with extra days off

The government will soon pass a bill that will provide workers with extra days off should a public holiday fall on a weekend.
By: | June 8, 2021

The country’s current substitute holiday system mandates one extra day off only when the two most important holidays of Seollal and Chuseok – Lunar New Year and Korean Thanksgiving – fall on Sundays, or when Children’s Day falls on a weekend. 

National Assembly officials said that the bill could be passed at the Assembly this month at the earliest as both the ruling and opposition parties have reached a broad consensus on the issue. 

The country’s lawmakers are hoping the extra days off would help the economy to recover as the prolonged pandemic has slowed economic activities. Rep. Seo Young-kyo of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, who heads the Assembly’s Public Administration and Security Committee, said, “We are actively considering passing the bill to expand the substitute holiday system as it is expected to contribute to economic revitalisation amid many difficulties in the pandemic era.” 

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The expansion of the substitute holiday system is also in response to calls from workers to expand substitute holidays as public holidays in the latter half of this year – such as Memorial Day on June 6, Liberation Day on August 15, National Foundation Day on October 3 and Christmas on December 25 – fall on either Saturdays or Sundays. 

This year, the number of public holidays was reduced by five. A similar situation will occur next year as six out of 15 public holidays fall on a weekend, according to The Korea Times.