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[Bills in Focus] Fighting DUIs, pay transparency and tech deregulation

By Korea Herald

Published : May 16, 2023 - 18:19

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Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Road Traffic Act

Proposed by Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon (People Power Party)

● Although the number of driving under the influence cases has decreased throughout the past five years, the recidivism rate remains high in around 40 percent. As drunk driving tends to be habitual, the public has been demanding an effective system that preemptively prevents drunk driving.

The US, Canada, Australia and other countries have adopted systems that require DUI offenders to install DUI prevention devices in their vehicles. This device automatically locks the vehicle’s ignition system if it detects that the driver is intoxicated and has been found to be effective in preventing drunk driving.

This amendment newly defines the DUI prevention system and issues special driving licenses that allow DUI offenders to only drive vehicles with a DUI prevention device. Moreover, it reinforces the preemptive prevention of habitual DUI offenses by establishing penalty provisions for DUI offenders that drive a vehicle without a DUI prevention device or removes the device without permission and when a person operates the device on behalf of the offender.

Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Fair Hiring Procedure Act

Proposed by Rep. Lee Tahney (Democratic Party of Korea)

● In a survey conducted by a domestic civil rights commission, 75.8 percent of the respondents reported that they had experienced employers who did not disclose salary details in job postings, and 85 percent of the respondents found this situation to be problematic. These results shed light on the severity of information asymmetry in Korea’s current recruitment practices.

Recently, countries across the globe have been pushing to enhance pay transparency. New York City recently amended its Human Rights Law to mandate the disclosure of salary ranges in job postings, and Japan amended its Employment Security Act to mandate the specification of important working conditions for job applicants and established penalty provisions for violations.

In line with this global trend, this amendment prescribes the information that must be disclosed in job postings under the Act, such as the number of job openings, salary range, and working hours. It also imposes administrative fines for violations to ensure the job applicants’ right to know and promote fair hiring procedures.

Pending Bill: Partial Amendment to the Microfinance Support Act

Proposed by Rep. Min Byoung-dug (Democratic Party of Korea)

● When the base rate rises sharply, the loan interest rates of banks usually follow suit while the deposit rates do not increase as much. The net interest income of banks comes from the difference in deposit rates and loan interest rates and can be considered “windfall profits.” Meanwhile, there has been a growing consensus for domestic banks to be socially responsible for their excess profits.

This Amendment prescribes that if the base rate announced by the Bank of Korea rises by 1 percentage point or more within the same fiscal year, banks shall contribute 10 percent of the amount by which the total interest net income exceeds 120 percent of the average interest net income of the previous five-years.

Promulgated Bill: Enforcement Decree of the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies

Competent Ministry: Financial Services Commission

● This bill mitigates the burden of accounting control for small privately-held companies by raising the minimum threshold for the total amount of assets that a company must possess to classify as a large privately-held company, which is subject to strict accounting regulations, from 100 billion won ($74 million) to 500 billion won.

This bill also protects individuals who report or notify misconduct related to accounting information by allowing anonymous reporting and easing the mitigation and exemption conditions for persons with involvement in the misconduct that report or notify the misconduct to authorities.

Administrative Announcement: Partial Amendments to Six Acts for Regulatory Reform through the Regulatory Special Case System for Services and Products that Utilize New Technology

Competent Ministry: Ministry of Government Legislation

● This bill amends six acts with the aim of promoting the market entry of new services and products that utilize new technologies to help these projects lead the development of new industries. It streamlines the application procedures for receiving approval as a regulatory special case for demonstration or receiving temporary permission if the application has substantially the same or similar content, method, form and so on, as a preceding application that has already been approved. Moreover, this bill introduces policies that establish the ground for exemption, citation and reward payment to incentivize relevant organizations to actively perform their roles in the approval, management and supervision of regulatory special cases for demonstration.

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The Korea Herald republishes a weekly legislative report by a local law firm DR & Aju LLC to provide the latest information of bills approved, proposed, pending and set to be promulgated. -- Ed.

For any queries about the bills, contact cr@draju.com.