South Korea’s gig workers to receive greater employment protection

Amendments to various employment acts were made after the country’s delivery workers died due to overwork.
By: | December 14, 2020

Gig economy workers in South Korea are set to receive greater employment protection after an amended law guarantees them unemployment benefits and accident coverage, after it takes effect in 2021.  

South Korea’s National Assembly voted for amendments to its Employment Insurance Act, Occupational or Industrial Accident Insurance Act, and a third law that affects employee benefits, writes United Press International.

The bill was passed with a majority in favour. The revision to the Employment Insurance Act passed with 239 out of 253 lawmakers agreeing to the new terms, while the amendment to the Occupational or Industrial Accident Insurance Act passed with 236 votes in favour. 

The amendments passed include benefits for contractors that are equivalent to paid maternity level. Gig workers will also have more rights to request documentation from their employers to apply for various insurance benefits. 

READ: Female managers still under-represented in South Korea

The bill came into motion after South Korea suffered a series of deaths of its delivery workers, with 14 deaths reported as of November. 

Demand for delivery services surged amid the pandemic, causing overwork among delivery staff. The pressure among such workers are high, as home deliveries are expected to be delivered within hours in South Korea.