The Ministry of Employment & Labor announced on Aug. 12 that the amount of unemployment benefits will increase from 50 percent to 60 percent of the average wage, and the period during which the benefits are given is extended by 30 days from the current range of 90 to 240 days.
According to the ministry, the maximum amount of 30 day unemployment benefits has increased from 1.29 million won (US$1,099) to 1.52 million won (US$1,295). At present, the lower and upper limits of the benefits are 90 percent of the minimum wage and 43,000 won (US$36.63) per day, respectively. An additional budget of 1.5 trillion won (US$1.28 billion) or so is expected to be required for the changes, which means a rise in an employment insurance premium has become inevitable.
The ministry also announced a plan to include holiday work in overtime so that the total working hours can be reduced, along with measures for assisting in companies’ adoption of the plan. At the same time, the utilization of flexible work is to be facilitated, so that employees can improve their profitability while achieving a balance between work and home. More than 70 additional Employment Welfare Plus Centers will be built by 2017 as well, so that they can benefit from employment and welfare services there.
In addition, government agencies and public institutions are encouraged to take the lead in adopting a wage peak and reforming wage systems so that more young people can find jobs, while the number of Youth Employment Plus Centers at colleges is to be increased to 20 this year to the same end. Conversion of temporary positions to permanent will be accelerated, and the protection of subcontracting workers will be strengthened in the public sector so that these can be spread to all of society.