Delivery drivers to be forced to buy accident insurance
Deliverymen, said by civic groups to be overworked as a result of the online shopping boom, now face another problem to add to their woes. The government is requiring them to buy industrial accident compensation insurance starting in July.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor on Tuesday announced revisions to industrial accident compensation insurance and employment insurance with the aim of helping workers who have fallen between the cracks and don’t get benefits from employers.
Deliverymen and tutors are among the 14 types of jobs that are categorized as special employment types.
The revisions prevent workers in special employment types from dropping industrial accident compensation insurance unless they have been confirmed not to be working, like when they are on parental leave or have an illness.
The insurance fee, paid by both employees and their employers, will be temporarily reduced for those with high-risk low-income jobs. Details on the amount of discount hasn’t yet been announced, though normally each side can pay up to 50,000 won.
The revisions are designed to prevent employees of special types from dropping industrial accident compensation insurance to save money.
Some of the employees did not sign up for the insurance because of the cost. Some employers forced or tricked employees not to sign up for the insurance because employees and employers each pay half the amount of the insurance. For regular office workers, the insurance fee is fully paid by the company.
As of July last year, 3,100 deliverymen from CJ Logistics - the country’s largest logistics firm - signed up for the industrial accident compensation insurance out of the total 4,900 workers.
Concern about working conditions has increased since the Covid-19 outbreak, as the number of packages delivered has jumped rapidly. This has forced some deliverymen to work longer hours than before.
Overwork by deliverymen has increased the demand to improve the work environment for those in special employment categories, as a number of delivery workers have died, with unions claiming overwork.
“Around 450,000 laborers that have been excluded from the industrial accident compensation insurance will be able to enjoy the benefit following the revision that strictly limits the reasons for dropping the insurance,” said Lee Jae-kap, Minister of Employment and Labor, in a statement on Tuesday, vowing to encourage more workers in special employment types to sign up for the industrial accident compensation insurance through more support measures.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Delivery workers sort packages at a logistics facility in Seoul. [NEWS1]