SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 30, 2018 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it will change its night-duty policy from next year. Until now, only male civil servants have stayed overnight at the office when they were on duty. However, starting January 2019, female counterparts will carry out the night duty, too.
Prior to its full-fledged implementation, the city government will have twice-a-week trial operations during December. In case of affiliate organizations and offices, the new policy will be applied after April 2019.
The revision is made for promoting the gender equality within the city government. Since woman employees has gradually increased and now accounts for about 40 percent of the total number of civil servants, there has been a widespread recognition that the night duty should be taken without distinction of gender.
And the growing number of female civil servants is widening the gap between men and women in the duty working cycle, which often makes male employees difficult to have their personal lives and raises concerns about reverse discrimination. Currently, the duty working interval at the Seoul Metropolitan Government is every nine month for men, while every 15 month for women. In case of affiliate organizations or offices, that is every 40 day for men and every 63 day for women.
To solve any possible problem of, for instance, safety or parenting, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will prepare countermeasures depending on each organization’s circumstance. If the duty work needs to be given according to the gender, both male and female workers may work together as a team, or security personnel will be stationed. If he or she is a parent of babies and kids under five years old, or a single-parent of minors, the one will be excluded from the night duty. If the work should be done inevitably only by men, it will be segregated to male employees.