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  • Title
    What is the discrimination rectification system for non-regular workers?
  • Content
    The discrimination rectification system was newly implemented under the Act on the Protection, Etc., of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers and the Act on the Protection, Etc. of Temporary Agency Workers. It was introduced to prohibit unfavorable treatment against non-regular workers (fixed-term workers, short-time workers, direct-employed workers) in comparison with workers under comparison (non-fixed-term workers, regular workers, direct-employed workers) in terms of wages, other working conditions, etc. given without any justifiable reasons. Labor-management council is normally responsible for taking actions against such unfavorable treatment by an employer.
    Unfavorable treatment does not necessarily mean that non-regular workers and regular workers should be equally treated in terms of wages, other working conditions, etc. In other words,  an employer can treat his/her non-regular workers and regular workers differently given any justifiable reasons including difference in intensity of work, quality of work, authority and responsibility at workplaces.
  • Title
    Can it be regarded as discrimination against a worker if a part-time worker who works less than 15 hrs per week does not have to follow the regulations on leave?
  • Content
    Article 8.2 of the Fixed-term Act states that, “a part-time worker shall not be discriminated just because he or she is a part-time worker.” Accordingly, there is no such difference on the working hours of workers. 
    According to Article 8 (2) of the Act on the Protection, Etc., of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers, it is provided that “no employer shall give discriminatory treatment to any part-time worker on the ground of his/her employment status compared with full-time workers engaged in the same or similar kinds of work at the business or workplace concerned”, and does not specifically 
    However, the Labor Standards Act states that a part-time worker (who works less than 15 hrs per week) shall not benefit from leave (Article 55) and paid annual leave (Article 60). Therefore, it shall not be discrimination even if a part-time worker who works less than 15 hrs per week does not receive leave and paid annual leave.
  • Title
    Is it allowed to hire a fixed-term worker whose two-year contract has expired as a dispatched worker?
  • Content

    If a fixed-term worker has transferred as a dispatched worker in order to avoid the regulation of the maximum contract period of a fixed-term worker (2 yrs), it is to evade the regulation under Article 4 Article 4 of the Act on the Protection, etc. of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers. The dispatched worker shall fall under Article 4.2 of the Act and shall be reckoned as a fixed-term worker with limitless time period.

  • Title
    What is relationship between labor-management council and trade union?
  • Content
    The term labor-management council refers to “a consultative body formed to help improve the welfare of workers and ensure the sound development of enterprise through the participation and cooperation by workers and employers” under Article 3 of the Act on the Promotion of Workers’ Participation and Cooperation. Under Article 4 of the Act, it is provided that “a labor-management council shall be established at each business or workplace which is vested with the right to decide working conditions”, but “this shall not apply to any business or workplace employing less than 30 people on a regular basis”.
    The term trade union refers to “an organizations of workers, which is formed in voluntary and collective manner upon the workers’ initiative for the purpose of maintaining and improving their working conditions and enhancing their economic and social status” under Article 4 of the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act, and it is provided under Article 5 of the Act that “workers shall be free to establish a trade union or to join it.”
    Also, Article 5 of the Act on the Promotion of Workers’ Participation and Cooperation provides that “collective bargaining or any other activity by a trade union shall not be affected by this Act”.
  • Title
    In case where regular council meeting was not held as workers’ members have not been organized, is it in violation of law?
  • Content
    The Act on the Promotion of Workers’ Participation and Cooperation Article 6 provides that “a council shall be composed of the same numbers of members representing workers and employers, and each number of members shall be not less than three but not more than ten persons”. “Article 12 (1) also provides that a council shall hold meetings regularly every three months”.  
    The council meeting can be held with attendance of both employer’s members and workers’ members elected (entrusted) on workers initiative. If the meeting could not be held due to reasons not attributable to the employer, it would hardly be deemed as employer’s default of his obligation to hold the council meeting. 
    Also, as provided by Article 10 (1) of the Act, an employer shall not intervene in or interfere with an election of workers’ members. However, in case where organization and operation of labor-management council is difficult due to workers’ unwillingness to be appointed as workers’ members, the employer may communicate need for establishment and operation of labor-management council, and the fact that workers’ members must be elected on workers’ own initiative, through internal memorandum or notice. And if necessary, an employer may make request to a district labor authority governing the workplace in question for aid in respect of prompt election of workers’ members
  • Title
    What are the matters for consultation and resolution of the labor-management consultation council?
  • Content
    The matters for consultation and resolution of the labor-management consultation council are defined under Article 20, 21 and 22 of the Act on the Promotion of Workers’ Participation and Cooperation.  
    The matters for consultation are matters that to be discussed at the council for the benefits of labor and management. The agenda is suggested separately or together and the detailed scope of the agenda should be determined by the labor and management based on general principles and standards. 
    Unlike matters for resolution, however, matters for consultation can be executed without votes. 
    <Matters Handled by Labor-Management Council>
    Matters for consultation (Article 20)
    - Improvement of productivity and distribution of results achieved;
    - Recruitment, placement, education and training of workers;
    - Settlement of workers’ grievances;
    - Safety, health and improvement of other working environment, and promotion of workers’ health;
    - Improvement of personnel and labor management systems;
    - General rules of employment adjustment, such as manpower transposition, retraining and dismissal due to managerial or technological reasons;
    - Administration of working hours and recess hours;
    - Improvement of systems for payment mode, system, structure, etc. of remuneration;
    - Introduction of new machinery and technologies, or improvement of work processes;
    - Establishment or amendment of work rules;
    - Employment stock ownership plan and other assistance to increase workers’ property;
    - Matters on remuneration to relevant worker for a worker invention, etc.;
    - Improvement of workers’ welfare;
    - Installation of surveillance equipment for workers within a workplace;
    - Protection of motherhood for woman workers and matters to help combine work and home life;
    - Other matters regarding cooperation between labor and management
    Matters for Resolution (Article 21)
    -- Establishment of a basic plan for education and training and ability development of workers;
    - Establishment and management of welfare facilities;
    - Establishment of an in-house worker welfare fund;
    - Matters which are not resolved by the grievance handling committee;
    - Establishment of various labor-management joint committees
    Matters for Report (Article 22)
    - Matters concerning overall management plans and actual results;
    - Matters concerning quarterly production plans and actual results;
    - Matters concerning manpower plans;
    - Economic and financial conditions of enterprise
  • Title
    If a fixed-term labor contract expires, is the employer required to give advance notice of dismissal?
  • Content
    The reasons for the termination of a labor contract include: ①termination approved by the worker (retirement: voluntary retirement, regular retirement etc.), ②termination that has not been approved by the worker (dismissal: dismissal on the grounds of personal capability, disciplinary dismissal and dismissal for management reasons) and ③the termination of the labor relationship regardless of the intentions of the worker and employer (automatic termination: contract expiration, completion of a project, death of a worker and disappearance of a company. 
    An employer is not obligated to give an advance notice of dismissal to his/her worker provided that the contract was the fixed-term or the term designated under Article 4.1 of the Act on the Protection, etc. of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers. However, an advance notice of dismissal will reduce conflicts between the employer and employee.
  • Title
    Can recess hours be replaced with lunch hours?
  • Content
    The Labor Standards Act Article 54 provides that “an employer shall allow workers a recess of not less than thirty minutes if working for four hours or a recess of not less than one hour if working for eight hours, during work hours”, and “recess hours may be freely used by workers”.
    Under the Labor Standards Act, recess hours refers to, regardless of how it is called (recess hours or stand-by hours, etc.), hours which a worker can freely spend without any direction or supervision by his/her employer.
    Recess hours may be replaced by lunch hours provided that a worker can freely spend time without neither direction nor supervision by his/her employer.
  • Title
    How much additional payment should be made for a worker who has worked on Labor Day?
  • Content
    The Designation of Workers’ Day Act prescribes that “the first day of May each year shall be designated as Worker’s Day, which shall be a paid holiday under the Labor Standards Act.
    A “paid holiday” refers to a holiday when worker is paid the ordinary wages that shall be paid for his/her work during the normal business days and without providing such work.
    An employer shall, in addition to the ordinary wages paid regardless of the provision of labor, pay 50 percent or more additional wages for extended work on Labor Day in compliance with Act 56 of the Labor Standard Act.
    ※ “Workers’ Day” shall not be substituted as it is a legal holiday which was specifically designated to commemorate a specific fact.
  • Title
    Is a general workplace required to implement non-working days in accordance with the “Regulations on Holidays of Government and Public Offices”?
  • Content
    According to the “Regulations on Holidays of Government and Public Offices”, such holidays are days when government and public offices do not open, thus apply only to such bodies, not general workplaces.
    Thus, an employer shall determine whether to designate public holidays such as Lunar New Year and Chuseok as non-working days in collective bargaining agreements, employment rules and labor contracts., and the employer is not obligated to grant his/her workers public holidays as non-working days if such holidays are not designated as non-working days in collective bargaining agreements, employment rules and labor contracts.
    The legal non-working days of general workplaces are weekly holidays, annual paid leave, non-paid menstrual leave, maternity leave and May Day under the Designation of Workers’ Day Act.


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