SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Three out of 10 workers believe that workplace bullying is still serious, even though an anti-workplace harassment law has been in place for more than two years, a survey showed Wednesday.
According to the survey conducted on 1,000 office workers, 28.9 percent of respondents said they experienced workplace harassment as of September, down 16.5 percentage points from the corresponding rate of 45.4 percent tallied in June of last year.
But 32.5 percent of respondents said bullying is a serious problem plaguing workplaces, compared with 33 percent in June of last year, according to the survey conducted over the past year at the commission of pro-labor group Gabjil 119.
According to the labor ministry data acquired by Gabjil 119, 17,342 cases of workplace harassment were reported to the government in the two years and five months since South Korea enforced the law aimed at preventing workplace bullying in July 2019.
By type of harassment, verbal abuse was cited the most at 35.7 percent, followed by unfair personnel transfers at 15.5 percent, and backbiting and ostracism at 11.5 percent.
Among 12,997 cases received before the law was amended to penalize employers who did not take action against workplace bullying in mid-October, only 23.8 percent were dealt with, and a mere 1.2 percent were reported to the prosecution.
More than 7 in 10 workplace harassment cases were withdrawn or closed due to the law’s vagueness, Gabjil 119 said, adding there are too many blind spots, such as for small firms and special-type workers.
The group called for revising the law to allow all types of workers to report workplace bullying cases and urged labor authorities to actively impose fines on workplaces involved with such incidents.