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Just 1 in 6 Temps Get Permanent Jobs: Labor Ministry

Posted July. 15, 2010 13:50,   


Just one in every six temporary workers who stay more than two years at the same company is brought on permanently, the Employment and Labor Ministry said Wednesday.

A ministry survey of 9,519 companies each with more than five permanent workers found that of 8,847 non-regular workers who worked for more than two years at the same company, just 1,494 or 16.9 percent got permanent positions. Another 1,433 workers (16.2 percent) saw their contracts terminated.

The problem is that 5,918 (66.9 percent) of those temporary workers remain employed but without benefits. A “continuing employee” refers to a worker who stays on the job despite the expiration of the two-year contract period. Such an employee is considered a regular worker illegally but does not receive the same treatment as a regular worker.

Korean labor law says a worker who completes two one-year contracts at a company must either be brought on permanently should he or she want to continue. Most companies, however, simply let the the worker go.

Under the Act to Protect Non-Regular Workers, temporary workers who have worked for more than two years at the same company are considered regular workers. Such staff mostly work for restaurants and small businesses such as handicraft manufacturers, however, so neither the workers nor owners are aware of the law, the ministry said.

For most companies, providing job security by making temporary workers permanent is meaningless since the companies are so poor, they could close at any time.

A ministry official said, “Many small business owners have no understanding of the law,” adding, “It’s like they are in the law`s blind spot.”

The ministry will consider revising the law as early as the end of the year after watching the fate of continuing employees.