At the’K New Deal Committee Overcoming National Crisis Overhaul’ meeting held at the National Assembly on the 14th, Lee Nak-yeon, together with Democratic Party representative (left), announced the ban on gatherings of five or more people from the chairman of the policy committee, Hong Ik-pyo and Kim Tae-nyeon (right) at the National Assembly. We are listening to your opinion. National Company Reporters
The government and ruling party decided to deal with the ‘3 Workers Act’, including the Mandatory Workers Act, the Platform Workers Act, and the Domestic Workers Act, at an extraordinary National Assembly next month. Criticism comes out for pushing a bill to strengthen employment rigidity with the help of overcoming Corona 19 and the Korean New Deal.
In addition, the Democratic Party and the government announced a plan for the 2021 Korean New Deal to Change My Life, including these details, at a meeting of the Korean version of the New Deal in the National Assembly on the 14th. Democratic Party President Lee Nak-yeon said, “We will have to double our efforts from the extraordinary National Assembly in February so that the legal and institutional tasks related to the Korean New Deal can be completed in the first half.”
The Korean version of the New Deal plan promoted by the party government this year included a digital new deal in the information technology (IT) field, a green new deal in the eco-friendly field, and a social new deal plan. Social New Deal aims to’strengthen safety net’. Accordingly, it is decided to enact the Act on the Protection and Support of Essential Business Workers for Public Transportation Drivers, Child Care Teachers, Hospital Workers, etc., and the Platform Workers Act for Motorcycle Delivery Riders, etc., and the Domestic Workers Act for Domestic Assistants, Childcare Assistance, etc. did. The party government named these bills the’Three Safety Net Act’.
The Essential Work Workers Act regulates essential workers and contains the government’s responsibility to protect them in the event of a disaster and the establishment of a support committee. The Platform Workers Act, which the government announced its legislative plan last month, is the key to ensuring that platform workers are also covered by the labor-related laws and to protect them by writing standard contracts. Three bills have been proposed for the Domestic Workers Act, including a proposal submitted by the government to the National Assembly in July of last year. It is the content that guarantees working hours, annual leave, and break time for workers who provide household services.
These three workers’ laws are intended to protect workers in industries that are vulnerable due to the spread of Corona 19, but it is observed that the burden will be transferred to the general consumer as well as the economy as it progresses in the direction of increasing employment rigidity. Some point out that this could lead to a decrease in related jobs.
The Domestic Workers Act enacted next month… Outline of the Platform·Required Workers Act
In addition, the so-called’Three Vulnerable Workers Act (3rd Safety Net Act)’, which the Democratic Party and the government professed legislation next month, aims to protect workers in blind spots. The party’s idea is to create labor market rules that apply to housekeepers, delivery drivers, and hospital cleaners. There are positive reviews in terms of protecting the socially underprivileged. However, there are also voices that unexpected side effects should also be considered. It is pointed out that there is a concern that jobs themselves may be reduced if excessively strict contract terms are placed on business owners or wage increases are triggered.
It seems to be enforced from the Domestic Workers Act
Among the 3 Vulnerable Workers Act, the fastest’progress’ is the Domestic Workers Act. The bill for the protection of domestic workers, commonly referred to as “the policeman” and “helper,” has been proposed since the 19th National Assembly. However, as the session ended without proper discussion and the bill continued to be scrapped, the government walked in arms in July of last year. Currently, there are three bills pending in the National Assembly, including a government bill.
The Domestic Workers Act contains the contents of guaranteeing working hours, annual leave, and break time for workers who provide household services. The domestic service provider must write a contract that includes the user of the domestic service, the type and time of service, the break time of the domestic worker, and the fee for using the domestic service. In addition, the domestic service provider must have domestic workers work at least 15 hours a week, and pay holidays (duty to pay weekly leave allowance), annual paid leave, and severance pay. The domestic service, which had been made through contracts between individuals, was incorporated into the official labor market, and in effect, the Labor Standards Act was applied. An official from the Ministry of Employment and Labor said, “If the law is implemented, up to 50% of domestic workers will be directly employed by service providers within five years.” According to a survey by the National Statistical Office, about 156,000 domestic helpers (as of 2019).
The problem is cost. Now, people can be used only by paying the labor cost, which includes a predetermined fee, to the manpower agency, but after the law enters into force, the consumer must also bear the labor costs such as weekly leave allowance and severance pay that service providers pay to domestic workers. Immediately, the burden of dual-income couples and the elderly will increase. Some point out that it is the’Chosun Tribe Protection Act’ that many of the current domestic service workers are Koreans.
An official from the National Assembly’s Environmental Labor Committee pointed out that “The Housework Worker Act is a matter that is more demanded by companies doing related business than actual workers.” did.
‘Quasi-labor relations’ applied to contracts between business operators
As for the Platform Workers Act, the government announced its legislative plan at the end of last month, and only the direction of implementation is presented, and there is no specific content yet. Platform workers refer to delivery engineers, agents, translators, etc. Ministry of Employment Minister Lee Jae-gap explained last month that “Platform workers are to clarify that protection through the labor law is a priority, and under the Labor Law, platform workers who are not workers are also trying to enact protection legislation as a minimum discipline such as writing standard contracts.”
It was a remark that reflected the concerns of the management that it is impossible to apply the Labor Standards Act to business operators other than wage workers. However, in the management world, there is growing concern that the platform industry ecosystem will inevitably shrink if the government puts the standard of’quasi-labor relations’ in’business contracts’ rather than’employment contracts’. The labor world is also against it. “Recognize these workers as’workers’, which are not in the form of special laws, and apply the labor law in full,” the labor world argues.
The Mandatory Workers Act also provides only rough directions. Essential workers refer to health care workers such as environmental sanitation workers, delivery drivers, and nurses. The official name is’Essential Business Workers’, and the law applies to labor providers, not workers, and the government’s responsibility to protect them in case of disaster, and the formation of a support committee. The support committee is chaired by the Minister of Employment, and the head of each local government participates as a member. However, this law is also expected to be controversial in the legislative process in the future as the scope of mandatory occupations in various types of disasters is not clear.
Some believe that the ruling party’s push for three less-discussed bills in February was based on the April by-election in mind, and there is a risk of the sequel to the legislation.
Reporter Baek Seung-Hyun/Cho Mi-Hyun [email protected]