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A Study on the Issues and Challenges concerning Long Working Hours and Securing Time for Everyday Life

  • Legal Theory & Practice Review
  • Abbr : LTPR
  • 2024, 12(2), pp.39-65
  • Publisher : The Korea Society for Legal Theory and Practice Inc.
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : May 3, 2024
  • Accepted : May 22, 2024
  • Published : May 31, 2024

leenakyeong 1

1창원대학교 사회과학연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Working hours are the most important working conditions besides wages. The meaning of working hours is to limit the time a worker is under the employer's orders and to guarantee free time outside this limit. However, there are two major problems with working time laws. First, the recent diversification of employment patterns has created situations that cannot be addressed by existing laws related to working hours. Second, there is the problem of long working hours. Long working hours in Korea have long been an international problem, and a policy of shortening working hours has been promoted. So why hasn't the situation improved much? There seems to be a problem not only with the legal system, but also with the way in which the purpose of legally regulating working hours is understood. Accordingly, from the perspective of solving long working hours, the tasks of the current law on working hours are studied and the current status of workers' working hours and time for everyday life is reviewed and summarized. When we think about what a fulfilling or desirable time of everyday life is, we cannot judge whether it is good or bad based solely on the length or shortness of each action time, including working hours. However, it is necessary to build a society that can promote work-life balance, at least depending on the individual's life stage and living environment. For this, it will be essential to take full account of the time spent on family life and then to review the practices and systems related to working methods. A work style that does not allow for daily leisure time due to long working hours and further leads to death from overwork can be said to be a situation that does not correspond to a quality job as advocated by the International Labor Organization (ILO). In order to correct such long working hours, it is necessary to expand the new concept of time for everyday life, which fully takes into account the health and safety aspects of workers.

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