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Hanssem announces office culture reforms

Nov 23,2017

Hanssem announced a slew of measures to improve the working environment for female employees on Wednesday, after the company has been under intense scrutiny over allegations of sexual abuse and a cover-up that made headlines earlier this month.

According to Korea’s largest furniture maker, it introduced a rule to ban meetings outside of regular working hours and overtime work at night. As for official team dinners, the company recommends all events finish before 9 p.m.

The company also added measures to relieve the burden on pregnant employees. Regular working hours for pregnant employees will be cut to seven hours. Extra work at weekends or outside office hours is prohibited. The furniture maker also established a new human resources program to enable employees to go on a second year of maternity leave, in addition to the one year guaranteed by law.

As Hanssem is set to move to its new headquarters in Sangam-dong, Mapo District, western Seoul, it decided to expand the number of rooms for female employees to rest and nurse babies as well. A day care center operated by the company will also be expanded so more employees can make use of it.

The new measures are based on feedback from executives, employees and an outside advisory group. Prior to the announcement the company had established a team dedicated to transforming the corporate working environment and vowed to severely punish those who violate guidelines regarding gender equality and the use of abusive language.

“All members of our company will put effort into making mutual respect central to our culture,” said Choi Yang-ha, chairman of Hanssem. “We will strive to transform our corporate culture so we can be a positive model to society.”

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]