SEOUL, Mar. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Most small and medium enterprises in South Korea are against the government’s push to adopt the foreign worker levy, citing an increased financial burden and questioning its effect in boosting the employment of domestic jobseekers, a survey showed Sunday.
The government plans to introduce a new levy system, in which all small and medium businesses are obliged to pay a certain fee for employing foreign workers, by the end of this year to discourage their employment.
According to the poll by the Korea Small Business Institute on 620 small and medium-sized companies, 89 percent opposed the levy.
Among them, 67.8 percent said the new system designed to regulate the inflow of foreign workers would rather increase the burden on companies, and 46.6 percent were negative about its impact on the local job market.
“Many small and medium companies hire foreigners because it is hard to employ domestic workers, not just because of cheap labor expenses,” the institute said. “The foreign worker levy would only increase labor costs for small companies.”
The institute called for the government to adopt policies that can provide practical support for local jobseekers in manufacturing sectors.’