SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — More than half of foreign workers in South Korea are not aware of the fact that they are entitled to receive departure insurance payments and other various forms of severance payments, according to a study by human rights organizations.
Departure insurance is mandatory for employers in South Korea who hire foreign workers. It is given as a form of severance pay to foreign workers when they complete their job and return to their home country.
If the departure insurance is smaller than the amount of the actual severance pay, then the employer is required to pay the difference to the foreign employee.
According to a study by the Joint Committee with Migrants in Korea and other civil groups, however, 55.8 percent of 712 foreign workers in South Korea said they weren’t aware that they were entitled to such payments.
In addition, only 34.1 percent said they knew how much their severance pay would be. As for why they couldn’t receive any remaining severance payments, 50 percent said their employer simply refused to pay.
Some foreign workers thought departure insurance was all they got in terms of severance pay (27.8 percent), while some said they weren’t able to receive the remaining payment because their employer made no such notifications (16.7 percent).
The problem is that the current policy doesn’t allow foreign workers to receive their remaining severance pay unless they depart South Korea, which makes it difficult for them to claim their payment even after they find out about it.
“The policy needs to be changed to allow foreign workers to receive their severance pay within 14 days after they quit their job, just like other South Korean citizens,” said Kim Sa-gang, a researcher at the Migration & Human Rights Institute.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)