A panel was launched Thursday to discuss how to expand flextime work, a key issue in labor-management talks, amid controversy over the matter.
Organized under the presidential Economic, Social & Labor Council, the committee for improving the work hours system discussed various agenda items and the deadline for an outcome during its first meeting Thursday.
The new panel consists of two representatives of workers, two representatives of employers, a representative of the government, and four “public interest” members.
The public interest members of the committee — professors of law, labor issues and business management — are expected to play a key role in the discussions.
The committee kicked off a month after the Economic, Social & Labor Council decided to organize it, as the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, one of the country’s two umbrella unions, had disagreed with the presidential council on who should be on the panel.
The government hopes to extend the maximum flextime unit period to six months, from the current three months, but said it will be all ears to discussions at the panel.
On the panel’s agenda is the extension of the grace period for reducing work hours, which ends in late December.
A quarter of the companies that have adopted flextime work said they cannot meet the 52-hour workweek requirement under current rules, according to survey results released Thursday by the Ministry of Labor.
As the government plans to revise the law by February to expand flextime work, the panel seeks to come up with conclusions by next month. The panel will disband in late February.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)