The government will pay some 90,000 visiting care workers 500,000 won ($456) each and will also pay for essential workers, such as street cleaners and delivery workers, to undergo health screening under next year’s budget plan.
Of the state budget for 2021, which the National Assembly passed into law Wednesday, 35.65 trillion won is to be executed by the Ministry of Employment and Labor.
The parliament added some 167.9 billion won to the government’s initial budget for the ministry.
This includes 60.7 billion won for protecting and supporting essential workers -- 46 billion won for visiting care workers and 14.7 billion won for health screening, research on health risks, and health support for street cleaners and delivery workers.
Should the owner of a troubled business choose to close temporarily or put the employees on leave instead of firing them, the government has said it will pay part of their wages. The budget for this amounts to 1.37 trillion won, up 181 billion won from the government’s initial plan.
Some 780,000 workers are thought to be in this situation.
From next year, job seekers in the low income brackets who are not covered by employment insurance will also get 500,000 won per month in government subsidies for up to six months, in addition to state assistance in finding jobs.
The government estimates that about 400,000 South Koreans fall under this category. Some 828.6 billion won has been set aside for the new employment support system.
Another 11.3 trillion won, to be paid out of the state’s employment insurance funds, has been earmarked for allowances for insured job seekers, down from this year’s 13.1 trillion won.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org