South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday called on conglomerates to introduce a so-called work- sharing program, an attempt to create new jobs in a sluggish economy.
The program, in which employees work fewer hours, will help create jobs and improve the quality of life of all involved, the president said during a meeting with presidential secretaries, said his spokesman Park Jeong-ha.
Lee ordered senior aides to encourage conglomerates to adopt the system, which he said will "create a virtuous cycle."
The president's remark comes after Employment and Labor Minister Lee Chae-pil told local media in a recent interview that the government will impose stricter regulations on working hours.
Under the current law, employees here cannot be forced to work more than 52 hours per week, but many companies have sought leeway on regulations by making them work during weekends.
The Labor Ministry is now considering including weekend work hours in the 52-hour work week limit.