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Bill on alternative holiday system postponed until September Updated: 2013-04-30 03:49:10 KST

 Bill on alternative holiday system postponed until September
The so-called "alternative holiday system" gives workers a vacation day if a national holiday falls on Sunday.
For instance, Children's Day is celebrated on May 5th every year in Korea and this year, it falls on a Sunday.
If the alternative holiday system were in place, workers would get the Monday after Children's Day off.
A survey of 9-hundred-99 employees released by the job portal site Saramin on Sunday showed that 94 percent of workers want to see this system adopted because they think it will improve their quality of life and boost their productivity.


"The system will reduce the notoriously long work hours of Korean employees. The lost work hours will also be given to others , giving them new jobs."

President Park's transition team set the system as one of the government's priorities, saying that an additional vacation day will boost the domestic tourism industry and consumer spending.
However, the bill which a parliamentary subcommittee had passed earlier has drawn fierce opposition from business groups who say it will cause estimated losses of up to 30 trillion won, or 27 billion U.S. dollars, every year.


"Firms with shift operations will suffer a four billion dollar loss because of higher labor costs. Productivity will be compromised, too, because workers will work less."

The government is also taking a cautious approach, saying that if the parliament writes the system into law it could hurt the autonomy of the private sector and be a burden to the businesses.
The ruling and opposition parties are divided on the matter, and the National Assembly's Security and Public Administration Committee has tentatively agreed to resume discussion of the bill in September.
Meanwhile, lawmakers look poised to pass a less controversial bill that extends the legal retirement age to 60.
The full National Assembly will vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
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