New bill will protect foreign migrant workers

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New bill will protect foreign migrant workers

Business owners who unilaterally fire foreign migrant workers without giving any legitimate reason who will be barred from hiring them, according to a revision bill passed in the cabinet meeting yesterday.

The bill revises the ordinance governing the employment of migrant workers, and it aims to safeguard foreigners who come to Korea seeking work.

The Labor Ministry said some business owners hire migrants, then fire them while they’re still in training.

Under the new law, business owners who are found to have dismissed migrant workers without just cause - such as a shutdown or change of business - will not be allowed to hire any other foreign workers for up to a year.

The bill will take effect April 10, the Labor Ministry said.

Most migrant workers who come to Korea sign contracts with employers before they arrive. Most leave jobs in order to come to Korea, and the ministry said it is irresponsible and reckless for companies to lure them away from steady employment in other countries only to fire them shortly thereafter.

“The change in the bill is meant to encourage business owners to think twice before they hire foreign migrant workers, so we can minimize the social and economic losses the migrant workers would experience,” an official with the ministry said. “This is also to minimize possible [diplomatic] frictions with countries that send their workers to Korea.”


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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