Inline with the labor union and employee-focused promises of the President Moon Administration, the Ministry of Employment & Labor has withdrawn the impeached President Park’s Guidelines on Rules of Employment & Guidelines on Fair Personnel Management to the regret of most of industry. The withdraw of the Guidelines does not change the present state of Korean Labor & Employment Law.
Ex-President Park’s Guidelines on Rules of Employment, inter alia, noted procedures to amend the rules of employment of a company even without the mandated consent of the employees and the Guidelines on Personnel Management noted a procedure and reasons to terminate poor performing employees. The Guidelines, together, were a means, in part, to express an opinion and clarify issues, seemingly, with the purpose to to add more labor flexibility to a system that is perceived to be overly protective of employees. Korea, in international surveys, is rated as have one of the least flexible labor markets in the OECD.
Most practitioners expect increased scrutiny of companies from the Ministry of Employment & Labor.
We suggest, immediately, having your rules of employment, employment agreement and general HR practices reviewed by a competent and proactive employment lawyer. We, also, suggest having your head of HR stay abreast of recent developments and consult on a regular basis with a labor professional. Typically, this can be accomplished by no significant out-of-pocket expense by your company.
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