Banks seek to improve vacation policy for better work-life balance

Updated By on Aug 01, 2017, 09:00 am
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By AsiaToday reporter Lee Seon-yeong

More banks are seeking work-life balance in South Korea. They are trying to improve their vacation policies by encouraging their employees to take more compulsory leaves. They believe that proper rest will lead to boosting motivation and morale of employees.

According to financial world, Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) agreed on the use of mandatory annual leave expansion at the labor-management conference held on July 3.

The bank agreed to increase the mandatory annual leave to eight days from the existing 5 days. As a result, IBK employees will be able to take 5 consecutive and 3 separate days off a year. In addition, IBK allows its employees to take "child care leave", which can be taken for events related to their children, for two additional days.

Other banks have also been encouraging their employees to take mandatory annual leaves to keep balance between work and personal life.

Shinhan Bank encourages its employees to take 10 consecutive days off using its Well-pro vacation system. From this year on, the bank provides three more annual leaves to its employees so that they can take it in case of personal circumstances apart from 10-day annual leave.

KB Kookmin Bank also encourages its employees to take 10 days' leave. There is no obligation to have 10 days of annual leave consecutively, but most of its employees are using it as a vacation.

KEB Hana Bank allows its employees to take 5 days off for summer vacation and 10 days off for personal refreshment. Individual annual leaves can be taken separately.

Woori Bank provides 5-day leave for employees to gain diverse experiences apart from mandatory annual leaves.

Unlike other employees, it was tough for bankers to take consecutive days of annual leave. In the case of employees working at the branch office, the absence of an employee meant putting more work to his or her fellow workers.

However, banks are recently introducing new culture that allows work-life balance as more young workers are placing a high value on work-life balance.

A bank official said, "Many bankers working at the bank branch used to feel inconvenient to take annual leaves because taking leaves were often a burden on their colleagues. However, vacation policies have improved recently and many employees now share their schedules to take leaves."

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