Reforms of the employment insurance system of the Republic of Korea to cope with the COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 pandemic that caused massive unemployment has forced countries to review their employment policy and protection system. This paper summarized efforts taken by Republic of Korea in reforming their employment protection system during the pandemic.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020, the Republic of Korea’s overall employment policies – including the EIS – have been tremendously revised. Through the revision of laws in 2020 and 2021, the unemployment benefit system appears to be evolving toward coverage of “all workers” by expanding the scope of the insured to include people working in the art industry and various types of dependent contractors who had not been previously covered.