Accident insurance extended to more workers

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Accident insurance extended to more workers

Starting next July, door-to-door salesmen, tutors, engineers that install consumer electronic goods like refrigerators and air conditioners as well as cargo truck drivers will be eligible for job-related injury insurance.

The Blue House, the government and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Monday agreed to expand the jobs eligible for occupational accident insurance, covering a number that were in the system’s “blind spot.”

The new inclusions are so-called special hired fields, in which employees work for a company under contract. These employees are excluded from benefits called “the four insurances” in Korea: national pensions, employment insurance, health insurance and the occupational accident insurance.

“While our types of labor are becoming more diversified, jobs that need protection are growing,” said Lee In-young, DP floor leader. “The Democratic Party will work to reform the eligibility for occupational accident insurance - which was only available to people categorized as ‘laborer’ - to anyone who works.”

“We will expand the range of jobs eligible for the insurance to door-to-door salesmen and cargo drivers based on studies made last year,” said Labor Minister Lee Jae-gap.

Minister Lee said the government will continue to expand the types of jobs that will be eligible to receive the occupational accident insurance to include freelance workers hired by IT companies by 2021.

The current expansion is expected to include 274,000 people - 199,000 people whose jobs are related to visiting clients’ homes and 75,000 cargo truck drivers.

According to the government, there are roughly 110,000 door-to-door salesmen, but only those that work regularly will be included. For example, salesmen who have earned less than 3 million won ($2,505) in the last six months will not be covered.

Additionally, salesmen involved in so-called network marketing, which includes Amway and Nu Skin, will not be eligible.

The 30,000 or so people who visit customers’ houses to change filters in water dispensers and air purifiers will also be covered as well as 43,000 private tutors and 16,000 people who install consumer electronics.

The government said that while there are between 1.66 million to 2.21 million people who work on contract-based “special hired” jobs, currently only 470,000 are covered for occupational accident insurance including delivery people and golf caddies.

Additionally, the government plans to allow all self-employed people - even those without employees - subscribe to occupational accident insurance if they want to.

Currently the government only allows 12 types of self-employed business people apply for occupational accident insurance. At the end of last year, it added four businesses areas including restaurants, wholesale and retail on top of designated drivers, artists and auto mechanics.

This allowed 1.32 million self-employed entrepreneurs to be covered.

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