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[Bills in Focus] Remote diagnostics, eased housing rule and fair hiring

By Korea Herald

Published : May 1, 2023 - 17:29

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A scenic view of the National Assembly (123rf) A scenic view of the National Assembly (123rf)

Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Medical Service Act

Proposed by Rep. Kim Sung-won (People Power Party)

● The government temporarily allowed non-face-to-face (NF2F) medical diagnosis after COVID-19 social distancing policies made it difficult for people to visit medical institutions. Since then, over 35 million cases were successfully treated remotely, and individuals with mobility or time restrictions, such as the elderly, the disabled, office workers and sole proprietors enjoyed enhanced medical access. However, the current Medical Act prohibits telemedicine.

This amendment aims to ensure safe access to NF2F medical diagnosis by establishing the legal ground for NF2F medical services to be a complementary measure to face-to-face medical services. It also prepares the legal ground for government management and supervision over providers and mediators of information related to NF2F medical diagnosis via telecommunication.

Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Housing Act

Proposed by Rep. Hong Kee-won (Democratic Party of Korea)

●Currently, the Housing Act and Income Tax Act designate areas that require stabilization in housing prices as “high-speculation areas,” “areas subject to adjustment,” or “designated areas,” respectively. These designated areas are subject to various restrictions, including financial and transaction regulations, heavier taxes, and subscription limitations. However, the efficacy of this system is greatly undermined by the mixed, fragmented and overlapping regulatory effects of the designated areas.

This amendment aims to comprehensively reorganize the regulatory system for real estate by renaming the designated areas to improve public understanding and streamlining the relevant laws and statutes to eliminate redundancies.

Pending Bill: Partial Amendment to the Fair Hiring Procedure Act

Proposed by Rep. Lee Tae-kyu (People Power Party)

● The Fair Hiring Procedure Act prescribes and prohibits unfair practices in the hiring process, such as improper solicitation, pressure, coercion, and the provision or receipt of money, goods, entertainment, or property interest. However, there are still collective agreements that allow the preferential or special recruitment of children of long-term service employees or retirees, arguably perpetuating the inheritance of employment and coercive hiring practices.

This amendment prescribes the act of conducting or demanding the preferential or special recruitment of first cousins or closer relatives, such as children of long-term employees or retirees, as acts that obstruct fair hiring opportunities and allows employers to cancel hiring in such cases. It also requires employers to immediately notify rejected job applicants at each stage of the hiring process and explicitly explain the reason of non-selection to non-selected finalists.

Promulgated Bill: Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Control of Manufacture of Specific Substances for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

Competent Ministry: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

●After South Korea adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, also known as the Montreal Protocol, it amended the Act on the Control of Manufacture of Specific Substances for the Protection of the Ozone Layer to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a significant contributor to global warming, into the scope of specific substances*.

This Bill aims to prescribe matters delegated by the Act by listing 18 types of HFCs, such as Difluoromethane (HFC-32), as class II specific substances and factoring in the Global Warming Potential (GWP) when calculating the manufacturing or importing fees per kilogram for each specific substance.

*specific substances: substances that deplete the ozone layer and HFCs under the Montreal Protocol as prescribed by the Presidential Decree.

Administrative Announcement: Partial Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act

Competent Ministry: Ministry of Strategy and Finance

● Despite the drastic increase in the scale and demand of foreign exchange transactions, preliminary reporting systems, regulations, and transaction procedures remain complex and inflexible.

This amendment minimizes the burden that individuals, businesses, and financial institutions face when conducting foreign exchange transactions by partially amending the relevant provisions of the Presidential Decree. It adjusts the administrative fine and criteria for imposing punitive actions for transaction procedure violations prescribed in the act, establishes a dedicated deliberative committee to encourage dialogue between the industry and academia on the interpretation and application of foreign exchange laws and systems, prepares explicit grounds for preliminary consultation procedures for opinion hearing, and allows the participation of security finance firms in swap markets to mitigate the supply-demand imbalance in the foreign exchange swap market and enhance the liquidity of security firms.

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

If you have any queries about the bills, please email cr@draju.com