South Korea to cover more workers under its state employment insurance

From July, more employees, including those hired under special contracts, will be covered under the state employment insurance scheme.
By: | June 30, 2021

Such employees would encompass those working as insurance agents, parcel delivery workers, door-to-door salespersons and after-school instructors. 

Under the scheme, they can expect to get unemployment benefits when they lose their jobs and can apply for benefits related to maternity leave. The insurance premium is set at 1.4%, with both employee and employer co-paying half of the fee. 

However, those earning less than US$710 monthly will not be eligible. Also excluded from the scheme are workers aged 65 and older. The government targets to have this employment insurance in place for all employees by 2025, according to Arirang. 

Also coming into effect from July is the regulation for the 52-hour work week which companies with 5 to 49 workers need to abide by. The regulation was implemented for companies employing over 300 workers from July 2018, and companies with staff strengths of above 50 from January 2020. Small companies with less than five workers will not be affected by the ruling. 

READ: South Korea undecided on minimum wage rate

The regulation for the reduction in working hours was introduced in 2018 when the National Assembly approved a Bill that abolished laws that permitted 68 hours a week of work. The old system allowed employers to let their staff clock 40 regular hours, 12 hours of overtime and then up to 16 more hours on weekends.