Increased Scrutiny of Employers by Korean’s Ministry of Employment & Labor under President Moon’s Administration: HR Audit Needed by Korean Employment Lawyers

Many Korean Employment Lawyers are taking note of the recent initiative by Korea’s Ministry of Employment & Labor.  At the end of June of 2017, the Ministry announced an “Unfair Labor Practice Eradication Initiative.”

This Initiative intends to investigate and punish perceived “unfair labor practices” of employers in Korea by having the Ministry of Employment & Labor conduct more audits of companies and provide punishment for those perceived to be in violation of Korea’ Labor Law.  It is time to do an internal audit of the labor practices of your company.  The audits completed by Labor Lawyers (not actually lawyers usually- usually NoMusa – licensed labor professionals) is, often, not adequate.  These individuals are unable to take cases to the court and, typically, do not have the nuanced necessary to adequately advise on more complex labor matters concerning strategy.  The “Unfair Labor Practice Eradication Initiative” shall:

  • Increase the Frequency & Effectiveness of Investigations
    • Increase punishment including the filing of criminal charges
    • Flag and investigate notorious and dangerous workplaces
    • Increase education of Investigators and provide additional forensic tools to Investigators
  • Establish a Task Force aimed at eradicating Unfair Labor Practices
    • Establish a Task Force in all local Labor Offices
    • Establish an online reporting system
  • Research and Improve Enforcement Methods & Policies
    • Draft a Policy and Enforcement Manual
    • Increase the Power of Investigators
    • Provide more investigative tools to Investigators including more discovery tools
    • Provide more educational opportunities to Investigators

The Unfair Labor Practice Eradication Initiative of the President Moon Administration is a major change in policy that shall increase issues for many companies in Korea.  We, strongly, advice conducting an audit of your HR practices and procedures.  You must have this completed by a proactive and business-savvy Korean Employment Lawyer and preferably, also, an international lawyer with experience in Labor & Employment Law issues.

Please note the Prosecution and Ministry has, already, increased enforcement actions against companies.

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