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100 Foreign household workers to be introduced within this year.

100 Foreign household workers to be introduced within this year.

Posted August. 01, 2023 08:00,   

Updated August. 01, 2023 08:00


In a bid to tackle the pressing shortage of domestic household workers, and in light of the rise in dual-income families and the country's low birth rate, the Korean government has announced plans to bring in approximately 100 foreign household workers from countries including the Philippines and Thailand. Set to work in Seoul as early as the end of this year, this initiative aims not only to alleviate the scarcity of childcare and domestic assistance but also to enable women to pursue their careers without disruption.

On Monday, the Ministry of Employment and Labor revealed a pilot program for introducing foreign household workers at a public hearing at the Royal Seoul Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul. The initiative is designed to benefit residents of Seoul, specifically targeting dual-income couples, single parents, and pregnant women in their 20s to 40s who are raising children, making them eligible to employ foreign household workers. Priority in selection will be given to foreign workers from 16 countries eligible under the Employment Permit System (E-9) visa, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia, and others. The workers will be contracted through government-certified institutions and will commute to the households with whom they are engaged.

The ministry will scrutinize the qualifications of these household workers, assessing their related experience, age, language proficiency, criminal history, and more. They must also undertake mandatory education in subjects such as the Korean language, culture, labor laws, household and childcare-related skills, hygiene, and safety. This education will be provided both before and after their arrival in Korea.

The foreign household workers will be offered the flexibility to select their working hours, with full- and part-time options available. The wages have been provisionally set at a level higher than the minimum wage (9,620 won per hour this year), with an expected pay rate similar to that of domestic household workers, who typically earn over 15,000 won per hour. This wage setting, however, may challenge the notion of the program as a means to alleviate the financial burden on families raising children.