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Ruling Party Seeks Grace Period for Temps Act

Posted June. 09, 2009 07:18,   


The ruling Grand National Party seeks to delay implementation of certain clauses of the Irregular Workers Act, which stipulate that a worksite can employ temporary workers for two years before either making them permanent or letting them go.

According to the Act on the Protection of Contract and Part-time Employees, temporary staff who have worked for more than two years should be made permanent or laid off from July 1. If implementation is postponed, however, the country could avoid a feared massive layoff of temporary workers.

For example, if implementation is postponed for two years, even temporary workers who have worked for more than two years can maintain their non-regular status until July 1, 2011.

The party’s representatives yesterday said they plan to support delayed implementation after holding a government-ruling party meeting and an informal gathering of members of the parliamentary committee on the environment and labor.

The party will hold a general meeting of lawmaker members and make the proposal as its official opinion Thursday. It will determine the grace period after listening to the opinions of unions and negotiating with opposition parties.

At the meeting, the government reportedly reiterated its former proposal that the employment period for temporary workers be lengthened from two to four years instead of delayed implementation. The administration, however, is highly likely to follow the ruling party’s decision if the party adopts the proposal as its official opinion.

The ruling party urged the main opposition Democratic Party to hold a meeting of the parliamentary environment and labor committee as soon as possible to revise relevant acts before the end of the month. It remains to be seen, however, whether the acts will be revised this month since the Democratic Party’s Choo Mi-ae, who chairs the committee, opposes holding a committee meeting to propose bills.