SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — More than 1 in 10 individuals working at businesses with fewer than five employees are paid less than the minimum wage, a poll showed Monday.
The Federation of Korean Trade Unions conducted a survey of 470 people working at small businesses with fewer than five employees, which showed that each employee was paid an average of 13,000 won hourly this year, slightly higher than the minimum wage (9,160 won).
However, 12.1 percent (57 people) were paid wages that fell short of the minimum wage. 17.2 percent of women, in particular, were paid less than the minimum wage.
Another 10 percent of the respondents (47 people) experienced payment delays. They worked an average of 46.3 hours per week, which was 7.3 hours longer than the national average (39 hours).
Only 9.6 percent of the individuals working at businesses with under five employees were paid extra for extended working hours and only 13.2 percent had their annual leave guaranteed by their employer.
Despite the circumstances, individuals working at businesses with fewer than five employees aren’t protected by the Labor Standards Act, placing them in a legal blind spot.
“Setting the permanent number of employees as a standard for the law to take effect doesn’t align with the constitutional principle of equality. It may amount to a serious act of discrimination,” said Jang Jin-hee, a researcher at the FKTU.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)