Quarterly-day off? Korean companies Enhancing Working hour Flexibility

반반차 시간을 계산하는 직원

Recently, many Korean companies are embracing the Half-Half Day Off system, allowing employees to take their annual leave in 2-hour increments. This system is gaining popularity as a versatile employee welfare benefit, offering a flexible work environment within companies. As a result, it has led to increased employee satisfaction and various positive outcomes.
In this article, we will explore how Korea's Half-Half Day Off System works, its pros and cons, FAQs.

Table of Contents

▪️ Exploring the Half-Half Day Off System

The Half-Half Day Off, as the name suggests, is a leave system that allows employees to use their annual leave in 2-hour increments, rather than the traditional 4-hour blocks. Unlike statutory annual leave governed by labor laws, the concept of the Half-Half Day Off is not legally defined, leaving its adoption up to the discretion of Korean companies.

So, how can the Half-Half Day Off, which allows for 2-hour increments, be utilized?

Let's consider how this system can be utilized within a company with a typical work schedule, such as 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Employees have two main options:

  • Morning Half-Half Day Off: Arriving at 11:00 AM and leaving at 6:00 PM**
  • Afternoon Half-Half Day Off: Arriving at 9:00 AM and leaving at 4:00 PM**

The use of Half-Half Days during working hours is not legally regulated, so it is determined at the company's discretion.

▪️ Pros and Cons of the Half-Half Day Off System

반반차 제도로 인해 근무 만족도가 상승한 일러스트레이션

Recently, Korean companies have been actively emphasizing the importance of a flexible working environment when recruiting talent. To promote such flexibility in the workplace, one approach gaining momentum is the adoption of the Half-Half Day Off system. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this system?


One significant advantage of the Half-Half Day Off system is the flexibility it offers employees in using their annual leave. In the course of a workday, there are often instances where personal tasks need to be addressed within a short timeframe. With the Half-Half Day Off, employees can adjust their work hours to accommodate these personal needs.

This flexibility allows employees to manage their work more efficiently and effectively. From the company's perspective, it can serve as a valuable welfare benefit, contributing positively to its reputation.

As companies increasingly emphasize welfare benefits when attracting talent, the Half-Half Day Off has become a popular offering.


However, from an attendance management perspective, the Half-Half Day Off system can be cumbersome. In companies lacking a systematic attendance management process, introducing this system may lead to manual record-keeping, potentially resulting in the omission of employee leave records.

Nevertheless, many companies are now implementing attendance management systems to address this challenge, recognizing that the benefits of the Half-Half Day Off system outweigh its drawbacks.

▪️ FAQs about the Half-Half Day Off

A. The Half-Half Day Off, along with the Half Day Off, is not regulated by law.

However, it is a system that companies choose to adopt voluntarily. While the Half-Half Day Off typically involves 2-hour increments, companies have the flexibility to adapt it to even shorter time intervals, making it a versatile time-off system.

A. When using the Half-Half Day Off, employees are entitled to a break of 30 minutes or more.

According to Article 54 of the Labor Standards Act, employees must be provided with a break during their work hours, with the duration varying depending on the total working hours. Thus, when using the Half-Half Day Off (based on 2-hour intervals), employees should still be granted a break of at least 30 minutes.

The break time must be scheduled during working hours, meaning that using Half-Half Days cannot result in leaving work 30 minutes earlier.

예시) 근무 일정: 09:00 – 18:00(반차 사용)

근로시간: 09:00 – 13:00(4시간)
휴게 시간: 30분 부여
퇴근 시간: 13:30

A. Yes, it is possible.

Upon leaving the company, employees can receive compensation for unused annual leave, including Half Days and Half-Half Days. Compensation is calculated based on the hours of leave remaining. For Half Days, it's typically 4 hours (0.5 days), and for Half-Half Days, it's 2 hours (0.25 days). However, companies that have implemented a legally compliant program to promote the use of annual leave may not be obligated to provide this compensation.

▪️ Case Studies of Implementing the Half-Half Day Off System

▶︎ Pioneering the Industry: Hyundai Department Store

Hyundai Department Store introduced the Half-Half Day Off system in August 2017, allowing employees to use their annual leave more flexibly. It initially ran as a pilot program in August and was expanded company-wide starting in September 2017, making it the first in the industry to implement the Half-Half Day Off system.

▶︎ Embracing Flexibility in the Fashion Industry: Sae-A Corp

Fashion manufacturing and retail companies have adopted the Half-Half Day Off system. Sae-A Corp first announced that they would implement the Half-Half Day Off system in February 2023. Representatives from Sae-A stated that the introduction of the Half-Half Day Off system has allowed employees to efficiently adjust their working hours, resulting in a positive feedbacks.

▶︎ Home Appliance Retail Industry: Balmuda

The home appliance distribution company, Balmuda, introduced the Half-Half Day Off policy together with Leave management system - Shopl. Managing Half-Half Day Off through system enabled Retail Sales team to manage employee attendance effectively.

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