In the latest Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s quarterly Labour Market report, it was revealed that Singapore has an average of 2389.4 hours in 2014. The result continue to place Singapore in its number one position in the longest working hours in the world. From results in recent years, Singapore’s nearest Asian competitors in long working hours are Taiwan (2,163), Japan (1,735 hours) and South Korea (2,193 hours).

By labour legislation, Singapore has also the worst maximum working hours in the world capped at 88 hours for two continuous week.

South Korea has the fastest declining working hours in the world, as the government increases its public holidays to 16 days in 2013. Japan is also decreasing its working hours by lowering its legislated working hours limit and increasing its legislated paid holidays to 18.5. Taiwan is also reducing its working hours in 2016 by cutting work week to 40 hours.

Other countries are trying to bring down their working hours and placing higher importance on a work-life balance, however in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has this caution for Singaporeans:

“If you look at other countries: Vietnam, China, even in India, they’re not talking about work-life balance; they are hungry, anxious, about to steal your lunch. So I think I’d better guard my lunch.”

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