SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – A series of incidents, including a massive round of dismissals and the suicide of a janitor at a posh apartment complex, have forced the Ministry of Employment and Labor to come up with countermeasures to protect security guards working at apartments nationwide under mostly poor working conditions.
Starting next year, those who employ more than 12 workers aged 60 or older will be provided with a subsidy of 60,000 won for each of these workers, on a monthly basis for three years, according to the ministry. The grant is expected to be worth up to 10 billion won a year, with a total of 10,000 guards benefiting from the policy.
The plan has been devised as a result of research conducted by the ministry on the current working conditions of janitors in South Korea. According to the research, the jobs of 354 employees out of 8829, or four percent, are in peril, as a revised wage law will increase personnel expenses next year. Janitors who have received 90 percent of the minimum wage in the past will be able to receive 100 percent from next year under the new law. As the research was conducted by telephone interviews, the real figure is expected to rise.
Aside from the subsidy, the ministry is hoping to improve working conditions, especially for janitors working in apartment buildings with low-income bracket residents, as they are more likely to be sacked than others working in more upscale apartments.
In addition, the ministry plans to increase its monitoring vigilance, while also carrying out an investigation to protect security guards from illegal layoffs, and introducing the new policies to apartment management offices.
By Veronica Huh (firstname.lastname@example.org)