Subsidies for workers on paid leaves extended
A subsidy supporting paychecks of idled workers in industries like airlines was extended.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced Thursday that the so-called employment maintenance subsidy was given a 90-day extension, helping businesses hurt by the pandemic including aviation, tourism and the performing arts.
If companies keep employees on paid leaves at 70 percent salary, the government paid 90 percent of the reduced salary for 180 days and the company the rest. With the extension, the government will now partially compensate the reduced salary for 270 days.
This year’s employment maintenance subsidy started in January and was to end June 30. Last year, the same support measure was given a 60-day extension. It ran from March 16 to Nov. 15.
“Amid the the prolonged pandemic, businesses are suffering and employees are subject to severe job instability, and we expect industries to require a long time to recover,” said a spokesperson for the Employment Ministry.
In 2020, the ministry partially compensated salaries of 770,000 workers on paid leave from 72,000 establishments, pouring in 2.3 trillion won ($2.03 billion). It has spent 652 billion won this year, benefiting 260,000 workers at 36,000 establishments.
This year, 51.7 percent of the beneficiaries were workers in the aviation and tourist transport industries; 17.7 percent were in the general tourism industry; 9.4 percent were in the tourist accommodation business.
“We hope that extending the employment maintenance subsidy grant period can help save jobs of workers,” said Labor Minister An Kyung-duk. “We will keep a close eye on their employment conditions and do our best to overcome the unprecedented employment crisis.”
BY KIM NAM-JUN [email@example.com]