Can Koreans use up their annual leave?

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : Oct 24, 2018 - 16:52
  • Updated : Oct 24, 2018 - 16:52

With less than three months left in 2018, South Korean workers are scurrying to use up their remaining annual leave in light of the Moon government’s new overtime policy.

Traditionally, November hasn’t been the most favorable time to travel, but under the Moon Jae-in administration’s new 52-hour maximum workweek policy, more workers are getting a chance.

According to a survey carried out by trip expense comparison site Skyscanner, out of 576 respondents, 66 percent said they still had part of their annual leave left and 40 percent said they had more than 10 days remaining.


Korea’s labor law stipulates 15 days of paid leave if a person works at least 80 percent of a year.

When asked to explain why they had so many unused days so close to the end of the year, 31 percent of the survey respondents said they had worked too much.

Another 26 percent said their preferred travel dates conflicted with their companies’ plans and 16 percent said they were saving their days to use at year-end.

Another 13 percent said they believed their colleagues would tacitly disapprove if they left for a vacation.

As this year has seen a trend toward more people trying to strike a balance between work and life, Skyscanner predicted a surge in the number of overseas trips to nearby destinations in November and December.

Skyscanner’s recommended overseas travel destinations for year-end are Hong Kong and Guam, as well as Kumamoto, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; and Vladivostok, Russia.

Fares, the availability of direct flight routes, travel time and weather were considered in Skyscanner’s recommendations.

Kumamoto, Japan (Skyscanner)
Taipei, Taiwan (Skyscanner)
Hong Kong (Skyscanner)
Guam, US (Skyscanner)
Vladivostok, Russia (Skyscanner)

By Lim Jeong-yeo (