Good news for k-drama actors and staff.
Korea has passed a law, effective from July 1st, 2018, asking companies to make employees work less. Including the shooting of dramas and films. I suppose, less accidents will happen that way. Remember the unfortunate Hwayugi staff member who fell from the ladder and remained paralyzed, in December 2017? Incidents like that, as well as suicides and deaths by exhaustion may have been the trigger for the government to take that decision.
Can you believe it? We in Europe take as a given working 8 hours X 5 days = 40 hours per week, but in Korea it was 68 hours, and until a five-day work week was introduced in 2004, many South Koreans did not experience free Saturdays.
Until today the week had 68 hours, that is 13,6 per day. And now they are hailing as a revolution the 52-hour week, which still means 10,4 hours per day! CRAZY!
The 52 hours are supposed to be 40 hours, plus another 12 hour of overtime. Under the new act, employers will have to pay time and a half to employees for the additional 12 hours after 40 hours.
That’s why they drink theirselves to a stupor and they have such a high rate of suicides. And that’s why couples don’t have sex. Who has the energy, after such an exhausting day?
In entertainment, things were even worse:
The Union for Broadcast Workers, which was formed by freelance employees in the television industry after the new law went into effect earlier this month, said it received more than 30 complaints within the first two days. One employee, it said, worked from 7 am to 3 am and was asked to report to work at 7 am the following day.
And here is a shining example of compliance to standards even before the law was made:
However, the new work week is expected to prompt workers to demand their pay remain unchanged regardless of reduced work hours. The country’s two umbrella unions _ the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) _ sent guidelines to their branches to seek compensation for diverse allowances expected to be cut, advising members to demand no wage cuts.
Not everyone is thrilled about the change, however, as the same survey also showed 49.6 percent are either not interested or have little to no expectation. Many of them were also concerned about not getting paid overtime.
One Twitter user wrote, “I prefer a life where I earn good money than a life where I have an evening.”
The top court ruled last month that hours spent working on weekends and state-designated holidays should not be recognized as an extension of weekday work and therefore do not qualify as grounds for workers to seek extra pay. The ruling was largely considered to be business-friendly because it banned workers from demanding extra pay twice for the same hours which could be claimed as both weekend or other state-designated holiday shifts and overtime. Had the court allowed workers to claim extra pay twice for those hours, it would have resulted in a spike in lawsuits filed by union workers demanding due payment. The KCTU and FKTU both issued statements criticizing the court for making a ruling they claimed protects only the interests of large conglomerates.