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2021 Work Report(Recovery, Inclusiveness, and Leap Forward Korea 2021)

 1. Achievements made in the past four years and remaining tasks

The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) selected “jobs” to be the top priority in government operation and actively supported job creation in both the public and private sectors for the past four years.

 ㅇ   In particular, in response to the worsening employment circumstances due to the Covid-19 crisis last year, the Korean government devoted itself to implementing “active employment stabilization” measures, investing 14 trillion won by drawing up fourth supplementary budget.

  ㅇ  The government enacted an applicable act for the National Employment Support Program (in June 2020) and formulated a “Universal Employment Insurance Roadmap” (in December 2020) that includes measures to gradually expand* employment insurance coverage.

The government also strived to foster a work culture that respects labor by continuing efforts to improve laws and systems and to help the culture to take root in workplaces, for example by reducing working hours, ratifying ILO fundamental conventions, and reducing fatal industrial accidents.

Meanwhile, as the uncertainties arising from the spread of Covid-19 linger, young people and other vulnerable groups in employment are still experiencing significant difficulties in the job market, and tasks remain concerning responding to the labor market changes in line with the nationwide efforts to transition into a digital and low-carbon society.

2. Overview on the Ministry’s work plan

The Ministry of Employment and Labor put together five tasks for 2021 to overcome the crisis and bring “new changes” that will create “job opportunities.”

MOEL will channel its efforts into “protecting existing jobs” and “expanding job opportunities” so that the country can swiftly recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

 ㅇ First, job retention support will be provided for more than 400,000 workers within the first quarter, and the level of support for businesses subject to the gathering ban, that are negatively affected by the social distancing measures, will be increased to cover up to 90% (67% for other businesses) of the suspension-of-work benefits.

 ㅇ In the first quarter, more than 80% (830,000) of the direct job creation project’s goal number of jobs, which seeks to create jobs for 1.042 million people, will be created so that it will serve as priming water for employment recovery.

   -  MOEL will ensure that investments made via the Korean New Deal will translate into region-led job creation by expanding support for Proactive Response Package for Employment Stabilization, and win-win job creation projects.

 ㅇ Employment support for the vulnerable groups who were hit hardest   by the crisis will be reinforced.

   -   In particular, in order to minimize the number of young people ending up in the category of economically inactive population, MOEL will expand opportunities of work experience and vocational training, and provide tailored support for each type of the unemployed population.

   -  Additional youth employment measures will be introduced in the first quarter.

The task of “building a robust employment safety net” that can quickly relieve our people's difficulties in employment and give them new hope is imperative at this moment.

 ㅇ  With the newly implemented National Employment Support Program, 590,000 people, including low-income families and young people, will receive income support to sustain a living along with employment support services.

 ㅇ  MOEL will also continue to pursue expanding the scope of those eligible for employment insurance to the dependent self-employed and platform workers in phases so that every working person would be protected by unemployment benefits.

 ㅇ   MOEL will double up its efforts to encourage more people to subscribe to the insurance, by expanding the scope of application for industrial accident compensation insurance to include freelancers in the software industry among the dependent self-employed (from July 2021 onwards), changing the regulation to allow exemptions from industrial accident compensation insurance for limited reasons only, and by temporarily reducing insurance premium (from July 2021 onwards).

At the end of the day, it is “people” that can propel our country towards the transition into digital and low-carbon society.

 ㅇ   MOEL will overhaul the vocational training system to enable non majors to find work in digital·new technology sectors, fostering talents for the world after Covid-19.

 MOEL will build future-oriented talent (17,000 persons) by activating an innovative vocational training system in cooperation with businesses, universities, and innovative private institutions, and help workers and job-seekers transition into digital jobs.

- MOEL will expand talent development projects to provide opportunitie for the youth to advance into industries with great potential such as new technologies and green industries by leveraging on the interministerial collaboration budget system.

Furthermore, we will expand the scope of vocational training by establishing a support system for “Lifelong Skills Development for All” so that all Koreans can develop a comprehensive set of vocational skills such as digital prowess and humanities literacy throughout their lives.

- MOEL will facilitate reemployment amidst changing industrial structure, by providing tailored vocational training to different industries and regions by cooperating with industrial·regional human resources development commission and local governments, and linking vocational training to finding work and starting a business.

MOEL will implement voluntary shortening of working hours program and provide subsidies for reducing working hours to help address the difficulties felt by SMEs in adopting the 52-hour work week system.

MOEL will proactively respond to changes in the way we work as well as cultural changes, such as supporting contactless work and flexible work to take root.

Protecting the rights and interests of workers in vulnerable sectors, and improving the working environment are key tasks to enhance the “inclusiveness” of our society.

ㅇ  MOEL will pursue legislation of the Essential Worker Protection Act to better protect essential workers, and carry out priority tasks to prevent overworking and improve working conditions without delay.

MOEL will strengthen focused supervision to prevent the three vulnerable issues (overdue wages, workplace harassment, minimum wage) and seek ways for institutional improvements.

MOEL plans to continue its efforts to protect the working conditions of migrant workers, for example by expanding the scope application of industrial accident compensation insurance and health insurance.

MOEL will establish institutional foundation to protect people in new types of employment.

As part of this effort, the ministry will pursue legislation to provide systematic protection for platform workers, and carry out measures to protect their rights and interests without delay by conducting surveys and expanding the use of standard form of employment contract. The ministry will also facilitate various discussions between relevant stakeholders.

MOEL will expand the use of standard employment contracts for the dependent self-employed, strengthen safety and health related institutional protection, and promote legislation of the Domestic Workers Act.

MOEL will complete ratification of ILO fundamental Conventions without delay, and will encourage more dialogues and win-win agreements between the central governmentindustryregions.

MOEL will do our utmost to "reduce occupational fatalities" to create a safer workplace for workers, and make every effort to prepare for the Punishment for Serious Accident Act to enter into force in consultation with relevant ministries.

MOEL will provide support to businesses so that they voluntarily establish an industrial accident prevention system ahead of the enforcement of the Punishment for Serious Accident Act (in January 2022, and January 2024 for businesses with 5-50 employees).

MOEL will instruct large businesses to comply with the newly established obligation for the representative director to establish a safety and health plan and report it to the board of directors.

For small-sized businesses with less than 50 employees, MOEL will focus its support to establish an industrial accident prevention system by providing technical guidance including as management for hazardous and risk factors (for 170,000 businesses), and implementing safety investment innovation project (530 billion won in 2021, newly established).

MOEL will strengthen inspection and supervision focusing on the risk factors for serious accidents in order to reduce occupational fatalities. The ministry will expand the number of supervision for small and medium-sized construction sites with relatively higher proportion of industrial accidents(from 7,000 sites in 2020 to 10,000 sites in 2021), and also carry out supervision for the head office at the same time.

  MOEL will strengthen technical guidance for industrial accident prevention as well as rigorous management through cooperation with local governments and private industrial accident prevention organizations.


The Ministry of Employment and Labor will make an all-out efforts to “make a swift recovery” from the Covid-19 crisis, prepare for the transition into a digital and green New Deal, and build an “innovative and inclusive labor market” that can protect vulnerable workers.


Last Modifide Date   :   Tue March 2, 2021
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