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`Job Sharing` Program to Spread in Public Sector

Posted January. 20, 2009 08:08,   


To spread the job sharing movement that has begun in certain industries, the government will drastically reform wages at state-run enterprises.

Measures will raise employment flexibility such as lowering the starting salary for new hires fresh out of college.

The decision came yesterday as part of follow-up measures to President Lee Myung-bak`s call for job sharing. “To share the burden of the economic downturn, find ways to spread the job sharing movement in a way to create more jobs by lowering wages,” he said.

The Strategy and Finance Ministry and the Labor Ministry said the starting salaries of college graduates in 298 state-run enterprises and institutions will be studied on a complete enumeration basis. The results of the study will be used to analyze the effects of lower pay on employment expansion.

A state-run financial institution reported to the Strategy and Finance Ministry a plan to hire additional college graduates by lowering their starting salaries in the first half of the year.

The ministry plans to reduce labor costs by implementing a program paying different salaries to employees of state-run enterprises and institutions based on the importance of their jobs and performance.

With more financial leeway secured from the job sharing movement, the ministry said state-run enterprises and institutions can hire more workers immediately out of high school or college without undergoing additional restructuring.

A top ministry official said, “When the merit-based wage system is introduced in state-run enterprises and institutions, it will raise wage flexibility in the public sector and is likely to affect the private sector as well.”

To help employees forced to take unpaid leave because of their company’s suspension of operations, the Labor Ministry will pay up to one million won (730 dollars) per person every month.

In addition, companies that participate in the job sharing movement can get loans at interest one to two percentage points lower; extension of corporate tax payments or installment payments; delay in tax audits; exemption from labor supervision; support for employment insurance funds; and preferential treatment in government procurement.

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