□ The government announced the Measure for Construction Jobs Support, focusing on 1) innovating the employment structure of construction workers, 2) strengthening protection for socially marginalized groups such as senior employees and female employees, and 3) improving the working environment and on-site safety.
ㅇ The measure, jointly announced on November 19 (Tue) by the Presidential Committee on Jobs and related ministries, are based on 15 rounds of discussions among the Tripartite Council*, the Task Force Teams in the related ministries, etc.
* Since September 2017, a total of 35 rounds of discussions (12 times in 2019) have been made (Chairperson: Kim Myeong-soo, professor at the Catholic University of Korea) among the two umbrella labor organizations (the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions), industries (general and specific), experts (Construction ＆ Economy Research Institute of Korea, Korea Research Institute for Construction Policy (RICON), Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association), and related ministries (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL), Fair Trade Commission (FTC)).
ㅇ The measure consists of 9 sub-tasks for achieving 3 major goals which are innovation of job delivery system, protection of workers in the blind spot of the working environment, and improvement of the working environment and on-site safety.
□ Regarding construction jobs, the 'Measure for Improving Employment Conditions in the Construction Industry' based on the agreement among the Tripartite was announced in December 2017. The foundations for its implementation have been laid in earnest such as revision of the FRAMEWORK ACT ON THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY (Dec, 2018) and the ACT ON THE EMPLOYMENT IMPROVEMENT, ETC. OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS (Nov, 2019), and meaningful results have been produced in the early stages from the pilot project, among others.
ㅇ As a result, the labor groups, etc. have expressed high expectations on the efforts to improve employment & livelihood safety nets for on-site workers including successfully eliminating delayed wages (on Chuseok 2018, and Seollal and Chuseok 2019) supported by the implementation of 'Direct Payment of Wages‘ which was led by MOLIT.
□ However, with the persisting social perception which results in the avoiding or disparaging of construction jobs and the growing concerns over a decrease in job opportunities due to sluggish construction investment, the demand for the elimination of illegal recruitment and expansion of employment support has grown.
ㅇ In addition, to boost vitality of the construction industry, regulations have been drastically improved*, and large construction investments** such as the Urban Regeneration New Deal Project, Community SOC, etc. have been confirmed.
* A total of 26 regulations have been reformed by improving the bureaucratic systems such as notification of construction ledger and the reporting of overseas construction status in order to reduce burdens of the construction companies. (Measures for boosting vitality of the construction industry, August 2018)
** KRW 22.3 trillion was reflected in the government SOC budget in 2020. (An increase by 12.9% from KRW 19.8 trillion in 2019)
- However, employment safety net improvement and job creation for construction workers might be less effective than expected without structural reform of jobs in the construction industry.
ㅇ Accordingly, strengthened measures to innovate the structural environment of construction jobs have been developed by reflecting additional and complementary agenda items to better implement the measure from December 2017 more firmly.
□ A government representative said "Lately, jobs have become the root cause of conflicts between labor and management, and conflicts between labors in the construction sites. New employment has not been created due to the poor quality of construction jobs and the competitiveness of the construction industry has deteriorated such as the weakening of the industrial foundation."
ㅇ They added, "By successfully implementing this measure, we will create more jobs and promote economic vitality through revamping the construction industry to create quality jobs.".
□ “It is expected that the employment conditions and livelihood of construction workers will be improved further as the recent revision of the ACT ON THE EMPLOYMENT IMPROVEMENT, ETC. OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS has provided legal grounds for the introduction of a technical human resources rating system and electronic card system, and for the easing the requirement for receipt of the mutual aid fund for the retirement of construction workers, etc.”
ㅇ “MOEL will prepare and implement more developed measures through the 4th Master Plan to Improve the Employment of Construction Workers (2020~2024, MOEL) based on opinions of on-site employees and experts."
□ "Above all, as safety is the foundation for the improvement of jobs in construction, MOEL will listen to a wide ranges of opinions and voices from the field by forming and operating the Joint Construction Safety Innovation Committee consisting of labor, management, private and the government and holding on-site circuit meetings, and then prepare fundamental solutions for structural problems that threaten on-site safety."