Labor Minister Lee Jae-kap (Yonhap)
The Labor Ministry unveiled a draft of legislative revisions aimed at extending the unemployment insurance safety net to workers outside standard labor contracts, such as home-visit tutors, courier service workers, golf caddies and door-to-door salespeople.
The draft, published in advance to reflect public opinions as required by law, envisions the inclusion of workers in “special forms of employments” as those eligible for the state-run job insurance scheme, while leaving details to be determined by presidential orders.
Under the proposed revision, those hiring such workers will be required to report on the status change of the workers and partially cover the workers’ insurance premiums.
The workers will be eligible for unemployment benefits if they have paid premiums for at least 12 months before leaving their positions. The benefit will also be given to those moving jobs after a fall in income. Maternity benefits will also be given to these workers.
The ministry plans to finalize the draft to be submitted to the National Assembly by September.
The move comes as the government pushes for universal employment insurance and tries to plug loopholes in the labor safety net, as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hit the weakest in the labor market the hardest.
Calling for a significant reform of the current scheme, the government said it will expand the scope of the insured to include workers with non-standard contracts first and later freelancers and the self-employed.
The government has pushed for coverage of such groups since 2017 and submitted a bill in November 2018, but the National Assembly only partially ratified the proposal, providing employment insurance coverage only to artists.
By Ko Jun-tae (email@example.com