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South Korea Issues Substitute Public Holidays Bill Decree

Source: Yonhap News Agency (Seoul)
Posted: Friday, July 16, 2021
Most recent follow-up news item: August 3, 2021

The South Korean Ministry of Personnel Management has issued the decree implementing last month's Alternative Holiday Bill which declared a day in lieu public holiday on the first working day that follows any South Korean public holiday falling on a weekend.

The aforementioned legislation was passed by the South Korean National Assembly, late last month (2021-06-29, 2021-06-06, 2021-06-23 and 2021-06-16), amplifying a Substitute Holiday Bill passed 8 years ago (2013-05-03).

That initial Substitute Holiday Bill had declared day in lieu non-working public holiday on the Mondays which follow the Seollal or Chuseok multi-day public holidays containing a Sunday, and the Children's Day public holiday falling on a Saturday or Sunday.

From 2015 to 2019, these changes were limited to the South Korean public sector, but have since been phased-in to companies with a lower number of employees (300 employees for 2020, 30 employees for 2021, and businesses with 5 or more employees, beginning in 2022). The restriction of substitute public holidays to companies with 5 or more employees is retained in today's announced decree.

The Transfer Holiday Expansion Law which was expedited last month to take effect immediately, was supposed to lead to 4 additional substitute public holidays in South Korea, before the end of the year; August 16 (National Liberation Day), October 4 (National Foundation Day), October 11 (Hangeul Day) and December 27 (Christmas).

However, as per the Ministry of Personnel Management, today's decree implementing the Alternative Holiday Bill restricts the application of additional substitute public holidays to national holidays, namely March First Independence Movement Day, Liberation Day, National Foundation Day and Hangeul Day ("only four national holidays -- March 1st Independence Movement Day, Aug. 15 National Liberation Day, National Foundation Day (Oct. 3) and Hangeul Day (Oct. 9) -- will be newly given alternative holidays").

Recall that Saturdays are officially non-working days in South Korea since July 2005 (2005-06-21), and as per the announced list of 2021 public holidays in South Korea (2020-06-15), 7 public holiday dates would have been lost in 2021, while, in 2022, 6 of the 15 annual South Korean public holidays will fall on a weekend.

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "South Korea Issues Substitute Public Holidays Bill Decree" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.