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Shortening re-entry restriction period for special re-entry of foreign workers and expanding its scope

 

Shortening re-entry restriction period for special re-entry of foreign workers and expanding its scope

- Shortening re-entry restriction period for special re-entry (31 month)

- Allowing special re-entry when working in the industry where they initially worked for 4 years and 10 months despite workplace change

- Mandatory training for employers using foreign worker’s work permit for the first time

 

The re-entry restriction period for foreign workers will be shortened to one month, and the scope of special re-entry will be expanded from Thursday, October 14.

In addition, employers using a work permit for the first time should receive training on labor relations act and human rights, and employers in the mining industry are allowed to hire foreigners (H-2).

This is the new system to be implemented from October 14 after completing the maintenance of the enforcement decree and enforcement rules defining detailed procedures of the amendment to the Act on the Employment of Foreign Workers, etc.announced on April 13.

<1> Shortening re-entry restriction period for special re-entry workers (31 month)

Foreign workers can work for up to 4 years and 10 months once they enter the country and their special re-entry is allowed only if they work at the same workplace during this period.

- After three months of leaving the country, they are given the opportunity to work for up to 4 years and 10 months when they re-enter the country.

However, an issue was raised where three months of re-entry restriction period can lead to work absence in the workplace, so and thus the period was reduced from three months to one month.

<2> Expanding the scope of re-entry

Foreign workers who work at the same workplace for 4 years 10 months were only eligible for special re-entry.

- Therefore, even if they were mistreated, sometimes they were not able to request workplace change to be allowed for special re-entry.

- Employers also faced restriction in on continuing to hire skilled foreign workers if foreign workers ever changed their workplace because they were not allowed for special re-entry.

In the future, even if foreign workers change their workplace, as long as they work for 4 years and 10 months* in the industry where they initially worked (manufacturing industry, service industry, agriculture and livestock industry, fishing industry with less than 100 employees), and

* Job search period for workplace change is also included in the employment period.

- the remaining period of current employment contract with the employer applying for the special re-entry permit is more than one year, special re-entry will be allowed.

<3> Complementing special re-entry requirements for workplace change due to reasons not attributable to foreign workers

If foreign workers wanted to change their workplace for reasons not attributable to them, such as assault or sexual harassment, the period of their employment contract had to remain more than one year to be eligible for special re-entry.

- That is, if they were treated unfairly at the time when the remaining period is less than one year, they had to endure the mistreatment without changing their workplace to be eligible for special re-entry.

* Case: There was a case where a worker changed a workplace due to sexual harassment from an employer but was not able to apply for special re-entry because the remaining employment period was less than one year.

Therefore, in the case where foreign workers change their workplace for reasons not attributable to them,

- if the head of employment security agency deems it is reasonable to provide an employment permit after re-entry based on the opinion gathered from the Council for the Protection of Rights and Interests, special re-entry will be allowed despite the remaining employment period of less than one year.

* Council for the Protection of Rights and Interests: Participated by local government offices, employers' groups, workers' groups, and foreign organizations to discuss matters regarding the protection of the rights and interests of foreign workers

<4> Mandatory training for employers using foreign worker’s work permit for the first time

As of October 14, employers using a work permit for the first time should complete training on labor relations act and human rights, etc. within six months of the issuance of the employment permit.

- The training is provided by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea without charge and is conducted for 6 hours in the form of collective learning or online learning (PC or mobile).

- In addition, users who fail to complete the training will face a fine of 3 million won.

<5> Adding mining industry to the industry allowed for special employment permit system

Mining industry* will be included in the list of industries allowed for special employment permit system that can employ foreign nationals (H-2) in addition to existing industries such as construction, service, manufacturing, agriculture, and fishing.

* Mining of metal ores, mining of non-metallic minerals (except fuel), other mining support service activities

Minister of Employment and Labor An Kyung-duk said, “Considering that demand is high for skilled foreign workers who have a long experience in the industrial field,

it is expected that worker absence will be reduced and protection of foreign workers rights will be strengthened through the improvement of this system.”

 

 

Last Modifide Date   :   Tue October 26, 2021
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