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Gov`t to fill 40% of new jobs with ‘part-time posts’

Posted June. 05, 2013 02:06,   


Kim Ji-min, a staff member at Air Korea, an airline ticketing and freight forwarding agency, works from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. Her office is located at Incheon International Airport. Kim changed her job into a part-time position to work six hours a day, or 30 hours per week from June last year. She is working about 40 hours less per month than before. But she is paid about 90 percent of what she was paid previously. She is also guaranteed the same levels of four major insurances and fringe benefits as those from her full-time post.

“Since I have more leisure time, I go to Japanese language academy and work out,” Kim said, “People around me worried about me, wondering if I became a non-regular worker, but I am assured of the same level of job security as regular workers.”

Air Korea introduced this part-time position system in 2011. The company hired 10 part-timers in the first year, 86 last year, and three this year. Employees who were initially hired as part-timers are shifting into full-time positions en masse as well. Sixty-one employees were regularized in 2012, while 23 changed into regular full-time posts as of late May this year. An Air Korea source said, “We introduced this system to prevent severing of careers among female staff and to achieve co-existence between work and family, and this has helped increase productivity.”

For the five years, the government plans to create 923,000 part-time posts of this kind. From as early as next year, “part-time civil servants for general duty” will be employed. On Tuesday, government ministries jointly announced a “roadmap to achieving 70 percent of employment” at the government complex in Seoul. An employment rate of 70 percent is one of the most important state agendas of the Park Geun-hye administration.

In order to achieve 70 percent employment rate, Korea should create about 2.38 million jobs over the next five years. The government plans to fill about 40 percent of them with part-time posts. For starters, the central government, metropolitan and provincial governments, public agencies and government-invested companies will first implement this measure in 2014 by hiring Grade 7 officials with experience. It will provide tax incentives and subsidies for social insurance premiums to private sector companies that create quality part-time jobs. To implement the roadmap, the government will newly legislate or amend 34 laws, including enactment of a law designed to protect part-time workers and promote part-time employment.

The implementation of the roadmap for five years will likely cost an estimated 6 trillion won (5.3 billion U.S. dollars) to 8 trillion won (7.1 billion dollars). But chances are high that the cost will increase further because some of related policies have yet to be defined. An Employment and Labor Ministry source said, “The exact size of the budget will be determined in the second half when policy details will be finalized.”