The Korea Herald


57,000 artists to be insured against accidents

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 2, 2011 - 15:48

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Artist welfare law to take effect November 2012

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said about 57,000 South Korean performing artists will benefit from industrial accident insurance, just as employees in other industries do.

The ministry’s announcement comes after the passing of the Artist Welfare Act by the National Assembly on Friday. The law, which takes effect in November 2012, aims to protect artists’ job security and rights as they are often excluded from two major types of insurance ― employment and industrial accident ―- offered to employees at Korean companies.

“Welfare services are provided for vulnerable groups such as the young, the elderly and the disabled. It is the first time that the government is supporting a selected job group’s welfare,” Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik told reporters at the ministry on Wednesday.

“While the welfare law is expected to support 180,000 artists, industrial accident insurance will be applied to 57,000 performing artists,” he said.

Artists in other categories ― such as writers and painters ― will be supported by state funds from a new entity, the Artist Welfare Foundation, the ministry said.

Government officials declined to comment on the annual budget for the Artist Welfare Foundation, saying they were negotiating with the Finance Ministry. They added that the organization will have a staff of about 20.

The ministry plans to establish the foundation by November 2012.

According to the Korea Employment Information Service’s 2008 report, there are 175,000 earning artists.

The average monthly income of Korean artists was 820,000 won in 2009. And as of 2009, 98 percent of Korean artists had health insurance, 60 percent had a national pension, 28 percent employment insurance and 30 percent industrial accident insurance, according to data from the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute.

By Kim Yoon-mi (