The Korea Herald


17% of workers say they work under different conditions from contract

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Feb. 12, 2024 - 16:45

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People commute to work in Seoul, Feb. 6. (Yonhap) People commute to work in Seoul, Feb. 6. (Yonhap)

Some 17.4 percent of South Korean workers said their actual working conditions were different from the ones they agreed upon before joining the company, a survey announced Monday showed.

Civic group Workplace Gapjil 119, which assists victims of office abuse, surveyed 1,000 office workers across the country in December, including 600 "regular workers" -- a blanket term referring to those working under lifetime job security -- and 400 "non-regular" workers.

In one case shared by the civic group, a person was notified of their prospective salary after the job interview. But after he started working, the company put off signing the individual's job contract until the first payday, when they were then presented with a much-lower salary than previously agreed upon.

Some 11.2 percent of respondents said they were asked "inappropriate questions," including discriminatory questions, during job interviews.

Some did not get to sign labor contracts at all, with 16.8 percent saying that they had not signing any contract. Some 11 percent said they had signed a contract but were not given a copy of it, while 23.8 percent said they were not notified in writing of their salary.

The survey showed that the non-regular workers were subject to worse treatment than the regular workers. The number of non-regular workers who were working under different conditions than written in their contract outnumbered regular workers in such conditions 91 to 82, and 20.8 percent of the non-regular workers were asked to sign freelance contracts instead of fixed-term worker contracts.