South Korea's finance minister says that labor market reforms cannot wait any longer.
Speaking at the 2nd emergency meeting for economy-related matters, Choo Kyung-ho said on Thursday that the current labor codes were set when South Korean industries were heavily manufacturing-based.
So they no longer fit the current industry climate which has become highly developed and diversified.
The fourth industrial revolution and a rapidly aging society call for immediate changes.
"To resolve the inefficiency, polarization, and inequality in the labor market, and to preemptively react to industrial shifts and labor changes, labor reform is a task we cannot put off any longer."
As part of step one, there'll be changes to working hours and wages.
"We will keep the framework of a 52-hour work week but change its operations and implementations so that it fits the current reality."
The minister of employment and labor also said that wages will change to adapt to Korea's superaging society.
The reform will help seniors stay in the workforce longer, while expanding opportunities for the younger generations.
Another step that the government intends to take is tweaking industrial regulations.
The new government will focus much of its energy on reforming regulations so that the economy is led by the private sector, corporations and the markets.
He also said that the government will move away from the fixed idea that regulation reforms and policy decisions are only up to the government.
Leaving the decision process to those who know best - outside talent and experts.
They'll be in charge of the "regulation reform task force" and will decide what changes are most vital for companies to work at their best.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News