SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea plans to put artists and people working in cultural industries under a state employment insurance program beginning in December this year, the labor ministry said Friday.
Under the move, artists will be eligible to receive jobless benefits when they lose their jobs. Artist employees and employers are set to pay half of the insurance fee, respectively, with the insurance fee set at 0.8 percent.
The scheme only covers people whose monthly income from culture and arts-related jobs is at least 500,000 won (US$428). The ministry estimated some 70,000 in the industry of 170,000 to be eligible.
In addition to the jobless benefits, artists will also receive state subsidies if a change in job leads to income loss. They will also be eligible for 90-day postpartum leave that is funded by the government.
The decision to include artists in the state insurance program is part of the government’s efforts aimed at protecting temporary workers and freelancers who are regarded as being in a “blind spot” as they are not directly employed by companies and are not covered by employment insurance.
In July, Labor Minister Lee Jae-gap said the government aims to expand employment insurance to all working citizens by 2025.