SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Access to paid or sick leave is no more than a pipe dream for many workers in South Korea, despite the fact that such time off is guaranteed under the law.
According to a survey conducted by civil group Workplace Gapjil 119 of 1,000 salaried people aged between 19 and 55, 39.9 percent of the respondents said that they had difficulty taking their legally-guaranteed annual leave.
In particular, 50 percent of non-regular workers and 53.3 percent of freelancers and specially hired workers replied that there are restrictions when it comes to annual leave. This figure is higher than 33.2 percent of regular workers.
At 52.4, slightly more than half of the workers with a monthly wage of less than 1.5 million won (US$1,280) said they cannot freely take annual leave, far higher than the 20.9 of those whose monthly wage is higher than 5 million won.
The share of workers who said they had no problem taking paid sick leave stood at 62 percent.
Roughly three quarters of non-regular workers and 85.5 percent of freelancers and specially hired workers replied that their paid sick leave was not guaranteed.
At 83.9 percent, the vast majority of the respondents shared the view that the government should introduce paid sick days that offset workers’ income loss when they take medical treatment due to non-work-related diseases or injuries.
Workplace Gapjil 119 pointed out that only two countries – South Korea and the U.S. – among the 36 member countries of the OECD lack both paid leave and a sickness allowance system.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)