As we step into the 2nd month (!) of 2021, you ever wonder what’s keeping Korean HR busy in Q1 2021?
These Major Employment Policies Could Impact your workplace in 2021
Minimum wage increased
The minimum wage in Korea has increased from ₩ 8,590/Hour to ₩ 8,720/Hour. A 1.5% increase, the smallest since 1988.
Update on the definition of working 52 hours a week
An update on the definition of the 52 hours a week
8 hours a day, 5 days a total of 40 hours a week, and up to 12 hours of overtime work.
Any weekend work is considered overtime and cannot exceed the 12 hours mark. (previously 16 hours of weekend work were allowed and were not considered as overtime work)
This could take some work for HR professionals, as a survey conducted by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business in November showed 39% of 500 small- and mid-size enterprises answering they were not ready to implement this change.
Furthermore, 218 companies whose workers work more than 52 hours a week, 83.9 % said they are not prepared for the change.
Companies with 300+ employees could be expecting a visit from officials starting in February to ensure compliance with the updated policy.
Child care leave flexibly
According to data from Statistics Korea, Dec. 10, the number of couples who had been married for up to five years was 1.26 million as of Nov. 1, 2019, a 6.4 percent decrease from the previous year.
Among them, 42.5 percent did not have children, up 2.3 percentage points.
In particular, the data showed that the higher the income of the couple, the less likely they were to have a child, making income not a decisive factor affecting the low birth rate in Korea.
In response, the Korean government has revised its Childcare leave policy for working parents.
Childcare leave (육아휴직) can be divided and use in two different periods, and It also can be the use for pregnant women who are at risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Impact on this remains to be seen as only 1.8 percent of new fathers who were eligible, took their allotted paternity leave in 2019, according to Statistics Korea. The rate for new mothers was 63.6 percent. Many fear they would put their career in jeopardy should they take time off work.
Career support for new parents to integrate parenthood with work could be the biggest challenges the Korea labour market has to overcome in the coming year.
Increasing health insurance
Start from 1st Jan 2021, Health insurance premium rate (건강보험료율) has increased from 6.67% to 6.86%
Long term care insurance premium (장기요양보험료율) increased from 10.25% to 11.52%
Of course, on top of all these, talent management, organisational development, employee experience, people analytics, health and safety in a pandemic, all those are probably also keeping HR professionals very busy in 2021.