SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — The government has banned employers from offering greenhouses as dormitories for foreign workers entering the country on temporary work permits.
Officials from the Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that they will root out the practice of offering greenhouses as dormitories for foreign workers this year, reflecting complaints made by human rights advocates.
Any violation will be punished by excluding the employer from gaining access to new foreign workers and depriving them of gaining extra points for qualifying certain requirements.
Previously, temporary structures such as large-sized greenhouses have been allowed as dormitories for foreign workers.
While there are no incoming workers this year due to the coronavirus, the new regulations will apply to all incumbent workers who are on a three-year working permit with possible extensions of up to one year and 10 months.
As of this year, there are at least 60,000 foreign workers qualified for extension.
Since it may take some time to renovate or replace some 2,000 greenhouse dormitories in the country, the government is considering ways to provide a commitment period.
There are currently 250,000 foreign workers in the country on work visas, most of whom work in the manufacturing sector.
Many of them stay in groups in a single-room flat, or in container boxes. Many of those working in the agricultural sector, however, live in greenhouses.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)