Gov’t sets new rules for non-staffers

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Gov’t sets new rules for non-staffers


The government and the ruling party are locking horns with the business community once again over the president’s “shared growth” and “ecosystemic development” measures.

The government and the Grand National Party announced yesterday a comprehensive package that would enhance welfare benefits for irregular workers as well as employees of small and midsize businesses.

The government will cover one third of the unemployment insurance and national pension fees starting next year for workers who earn 1.24 million won ($1,151) per month or less, who work at a company with five or less employees and who work more than 15 hours in a week.

Previously, employers and employees split the cost of insurance fees. With the government’s coverage, they will only pay one-third each.

“We agreed on supporting the insurance payments of workers at small operations that don’t pay unemployment insurance and national pensions,” Kim Sung-tae, head of the GNP’s special irregular workers’ committee told reporters.

The total cost to the government is expected to be 240 billion won ($220 million) a year.

Additionally the government and the ruling party agreed to expand industrial accident insurance for people working in jobs like couriers and parcel delivery services.

Other measures include creating guidelines that would reduce discrimination between regular and irregular workers in the workplace, including vacations and bonuses.

However, the government and the GNP failed to agree to a guideline that would require the wages of irregular, non-staff workers to be at least 80 percent of what staffers get.

According to Statics Korea, irregular workers numbered 5.77 million as of March this year, up 5 percent from a year ago. Irregular workers account for 33.8 percent of the total workforce of 17 million workers.

The business community criticized the measures, claiming that excessive regulation ignores the reality of the labor market.

For more than a year, President Lee Myung-bak has been urging large companies to share their profits with contractors and suppliers, not to compete too hard against smaller and traditional companies, to treat irregular workers better and to hire people without college degrees - all under various slogans such as “fair society” and “shared growth.” “Ecosystemic development” was a new slogan he announced in August.

The push came after his party was trounced in local elections in June 2010 and analysts said the public thought Lee’s administration was too business-friendly and not worried about the common man.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industries said the measures announced yesterday violate companies’ autonomy and pass on greater costs to large companies.

“As a result it will shrink corporate activities and will cause serious side effects including a negative impact on creation of jobs,” it said.

The Korea Employers Federation said, “The measures do not acknowledge irregular work as a normal form of employment and are based on a misunderstanding that these are jobs that need to be abolished.”

By Lee Ho-jeong []

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

월 124만원 이하 비정규직, 사회보험 33% 정부가 댄다

당정, 연 2500억 재정 투입
“DJ·노무현 정부도 못한 일”
사회보험료 첫 지원 강조

내년부터 5인 미만 사업장에서 주당 15시간 이상을 일하면서 최저임금의 120% 이하를 받는 근로자에겐 정부가 고용보험료와 국민연금보험료의 3 분의 1을 대신 내주게 된다.

 정부와 한나라당은 9일 한나라당 이주영 정책위의장과 이채필 고용노동부 장관이 참석한 가운데 당정협의회를 열고 이 같은 내용을 포함한 ‘비정규직 7대 대책’을 발표했다.

 최저임금의 120% 이하는 내년 최저임금(시급 4580원)을 기준으로 하면 월급 124만원 이하가 된다. 이 같은 처우를 받는 근로자의 대부분은 비정규직이라는 게 한나라당 측 설명이다.

이주영 정책위의장은 “비정규직에게 사회보험료를 정부에서 지원해 주는 것은 처음 있는 일”이라며 “김대중·노무현 정부에서도 추진하려다 실패했던 획기적 정책”이라고 말했다. 당정은 저소득 근로자에 대한 사회보험료 지원을 실시하게 되면 연간 2500억원 정도 들어갈 것으로 보고 있다.

이번에 발표된 대책 중에는 동일 사업장 내 정규직과 비정규직 근로자 간의 임금 차별 등을 개선하기 위해 고용노동부 장관령으로 ‘차별 개선 가이드라인’을 정하도록 하는 내용도 들어 있다. 비정규직 근로자가 직접 차별 시정 신청을 지방노동청에 해야 하는 현행 규정을 고쳐 노동조합 등 근로자 대표가 대신 신청을 할 수 있도록 허용하는 내용도 담겼다.

 또 비정규직 근로자의 불법파견 사실이 적발되면 근로기간에 관계없이 해당 근로자를 채용했던 사업주가 파견 근로자를 고용하도록 의무화하는 조항도 관련 법안에 담을 예정이다(본지 9월 9일자 10면). 한나라당 비정규직대책특위 김성태 위원장은 “비정규직 대책 마련에 앞으로 한나라당이 앞장설 것”이라고 말했다.

한편 당정은 이날 택배기사와 퀵서비스 기사 등 특수형태 업무 종사자의 산재보험 적용을 확대하는 방안도 추진하기로 했다. 이들 업종은 대표적인 산재보험 사각지대로 꼽히고 있다.

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