Dec. 28, 2017
1. Conversion of public-sector non-regular workers to regular status in 2017
The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) said that the public sector had decided to convert about 60,000 non-regular workers to regular status since the announcement of the 'plan for conversion of public-sector non-regular workers to regular status' on July 20th until December 26th (Mon.).
More specifically, the public sector has decided to give regular status to a combined total of 61,708 non-regular workers - of whom 37,259 are fixed-term workers in 454 organizations and 24,449 are temporary agency/contract company workers in 140 organizations - representing 83.3% of the estimated 74,000 non-regular workers to be converted in 2017.
* 73.0% of the estimated number of fixed-term workers to be converted in 2017 (37,259/51,061) and 106.1% of the estimated number of temporary agency/contract company workers to be converted in 2017 (24,449/23,053)
Of 601 public-sector organizations which have to convert their fixed-term workers to regular status in 2017, 454 or 75.5% have decided to do so, and of 150 public-sector organizations which have to convert their temporary agency/contract company workers to regular status in 2017, 140 or 93.3% have decided to do so.
Meanwhile, the number of non-regular workers converted to regular status per week, which stood at about 1,000 in November, has increased sharply since the beginning of December, reaching more than 6,000 in the third week of December and more than 19,000 in the fourth week.
The number of public-sector non-regular workers converted to regular status is expected to be close to the 2017 conversion target by the end of this year since public institutions with a large number of non-regular workers eligible for conversion to regular status are scheduled to make a conversion decision in the final week of December.
As for progress made by each category of organizations (as of Dec. 26), central administrative agencies have decided to give regular status to 13,752 non-regular workers, exceeding this year's conversion target of 11,835 workers.
* The introduction of a job-based pay system by the Government Buildings Management Office (2,435 non-regular workers) would influence other organizations' decisions to convert non-regular workers in the fields of cleaning and facility management services.
Local governments have decided to give regular status to 8,833 non-regular workers representing 80.1% of their estimated total number to be converted this year (11,026 workers).
* Of the 17 metropolitan governments, 12 city and provincial governments have decided to convert their fixed-term workers to regular status, which would give momentum to other metropolitan city, provincial and lower-level local governments' conversion decisions.
Public institutions have decided to give regular status to 34,748 non-regular workers representing 92.1% of their estimated total number to be converted this year (37,736 workers) and are expected to continue making conversion decisions until the end of the year.
Local public enterprises have decided to give regular status to 1,937 non-regular workers representing 66.4% of their estimated total number to be converted this year (2,918 workers). Educational institutions have decided to give regular status to 2,438 non-regular workers representing 23.0% of their estimated total number to be converted this year (10,599 workers), which suggests that their pace of conversion is slower than other organizations'.
* Educational institutions are expected to make conversion decisions during January 2018 given the fact that their fiscal year will end in late February 2018.
2. Standard personnel management regulations for converted workers
Meanwhile, on December 29th (Fri.) MOEL distributed the 'standard personnel management regulations for public service workers, etc.'*, which had been confirmed by the 'task force on measures for public-sector non-regular workers', across individual organizations in the public sector.
* A revised version of the existing 'standard management regulations for workers on contracts of indefinite duration (Oct. 2013)'
The regulations were developed with a focus on making up for the lack of systematic personnel management for converted workers since their conversion to regular status and thus creating an official personnel management system for converted workers and promoting such workers' morale and integration into their organizations.
【 Main contents of the Standard Personnel Management Regulations 】
Preliminary review before hiring of non-regular workers
▴ Establishing the principle of hiring regular workers for jobs of a permanent and continuous nature
▴ Allowing the employment of non-regular workers only when it is inevitable.
Systematic personnel management after conversion to regular status
▴ Giving converted workers opportunities to get a pay rise after going through certain procedures, such as evaluation.
▴ Introducing a pay system that reflects the aims of equal pay for work of equal value by type of job
▴ Diversifying training for converted workers and enhancing training incentives
Boosting sense of organizational unity and morale
▴ Replacing the term 'indefinite-term contract worker' with a new appropriate term, such as public service worker
▴ Making it mandatory to issue converted workers with ID cards identical in form to those for other workers
▴ Giving converted workers the right to access the internal and external networks they need to perform their jobs
Establishing the principle of fair hiring
▴ Establishing the principle of fair hiring and blind hiring
▴ Introducing job competency-based hiring
For a start, a system of conducting a preliminary review before hiring non-regular workers, which establishes the principle of hiring regular workers for jobs of a permanent and continuous nature and allows the employment of non-regular workers only when it is inevitable, was created.
The regulations stipulate the pre-hiring review system's operating procedures which include establishing a hiring plan (hiring department, i.e. department which intends to hire a non-regular worker), conducting a review (personnel department) and taking follow-up measures (hiring and personnel departments). Following the procedures, public-sector organizations should examine the appropriateness of employing non-regular workers in advance.
Second, the regulations encourage public-sector organizations to establish a new pay increase system and introduce a rational pay system reflecting the characteristics of each type of job to support systematic personnel management after conversion. They are also encouraged to strengthen training for converted workers.
A new provision allowing public-sector organizations to implement a pay increase system was established to enable public-sector organizations to operate a pay increase system reflecting workers' motivation, skill formation time for the relevant job, etc.
The regulations stipulate that a pay system should be established taking account of the characteristics of each type of job so that it can reflect the aims of equal pay for work of equal value by type of job.
They also encourage public-sector organizations to create various training programs considering working conditions and training needs and to promote participation in training by reflecting training results in pay increases, performance pay, etc.
Third, the regulations provide measures to boost converted workers' sense of organizational unity and morale using their job title, ID cards, right to access internal and external networks, etc.
The regulations state that the existing title 'indefinite-term contract worker' should be renamed 'public service worker,' etc., and that each organization should set a proper occupational title reflecting the content of jobs performed by converted workers.
In addition, organizations are mandatorily required to issue converted workers with ID cards which are identical in form to those for other workers, except for inevitable differences. In particular, any notable differences in color, size and design should be avoided.
Moreover, with regard to converted workers' access to internal and external networks, such as intranet, public-sector organizations are required to grant such workers the access right they need to perform their jobs.
Fourth, considering the growing public distrust in the fairness of hiring processes due to the recent hiring irregularities at public institutions, public-sector organizations are obligated to establish the principle of fair hiring and blind hiring and encouraged to introduce competency-based hiring.
Vice Minister of Employment and Labor Yi Sung-ki said, "Converting non-regular workers to regular status is not a one-off exercise. What is more important is systematic personnel management after conversion. I ask public-sector organizations to actively use the standard personnel management regulations."
He also stressed, "We still have a long way to go and have to tackle lots of challenges, so I hope tripartite partners will continue to join forces next year."