Employment Seminar Series

Recent Policy Innovations for Decent Work in Korea: Supporting Employment through Social and Financial Subsidies

- Kyung-woo Shim, President, Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service
- Jai-Joon Hur, Head, Employment Policy research Division, Korea Labor Institute

- Merten Sievers (ENTERPRISES)
- Yukun Zhu (ISSA)

- Dorothea Schmidt-Klau (EMPLOYMENT)

Supporting Employment in small Firms through Social Insurance (Presentation by Kyung-woo Shim)

Korean government introduced social insurance schemes in line with the economic development stage and social consensus step by step since 1960s. A Financial Support Programme for Social Insurance Premium was introduced in 2012 in order to cover part of the premiums of employment insurance and national pension for small firms. Starting with workers with a monthly wage of less than USD $1,120 in firms with less than ten workers supporting 50 per cent of their premiums respectively, the scope of the beneficiary group and amount of subsidy have expanded so that in 2019 workers with a monthly wage of less than USD $1,880 USD were supporting up to 90 per cent of their premiums respectively. In 2018 the Programme was reinforced with the participation of the local government of Gangwon province of which beneficiary firms and workers rose by 32.2 per cent and 56.2 per cent respectively compared with the previous year.

Financial Subsidies for Youth Employment in Korea: Reviews and Task for Inclusive Growth (presentation by Jai-Joon Hur)

The current Korean government has announced various employment support measures to boost youth employment in small and medium-sized (SME) firms. The measures mainly aim to fortify the support for the SMEs and young job seekers for strengthening their employment capability. The country's SMEs have been suffering from chronic shortage of manpower in part because youth are reluctant to work in those firms. The funding measures introduced could help encourage more young job seekers to obtain jobs from SMEs.
The three representative youth employment subsidies include 'Additional Youth Employment Subsidy Programme for SMEs', ‘Tomorrow Mutual Aid Programme for Young Employees’, and ‘Youth Job Search Allowance’. This presentation reviewed the current status and outcomes of these youth employment subsidies and discussed the future directions to fortify their policy impacts.

Biography: Kyung-woo SHIM
Mr. Kyung-woo Shim has been President of Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service since November 2016. He studied Sociology at the Yonsei University, Republic of Korea and obtained his Master’s degree of Human Resources Management from the Ohio State University, in the U.S. He started his government service as Deputy Director of Ministry of Labor (renamed as the ‘Ministry of Employment and Labor’ in 2010) in 1986. Since then, he has undertaken major positions of the Ministry, including Director of Labor Welfare Dept. and Insurance Policy Dept., Director-General of International Cooperation Bureau, Executive Director of Planning & Coordination Bureau, among others. In particular, he pioneered his career in ‘Social Protection Unit of World Bank’ in Washington D.C. from 2006-2009. Subsequently, he worked as Dean of the Korea Polytechnics College from 2015 to 2016. Recently, in January 2019, he took office as the fourth Chairperson of Asian Workers’ Compensation Association comprised of thirteen Workers’ Compensation Insurance organizations from ten countries in the Asia and the Pacific region.

Biography: Dr Jai-Joon HUR
Dr. HUR, Jai-Joon. Ph.D. in Economics, University Parix-X. He is currently one of the most frequently sought researchers on the issue of challenges of digital transformation and related labor and social agenda. He is Director-General of Employment Policy Research Division of the Korea Labor Institute. His work experience and activities include Sr. Economist at the World Bank and consultant of ILO and Korean Government’s Knowledge Sharing Programme in providing technical assistance for developing countries. He is participating in and coordinating interdisciplinary researches, such as those on strategic foresight and policy directions and tools for inclusive growth. Not only advising firms as well as policy decision makers, he works for knowledge diffusion programmes for the youth to help them better prepared for future jobs and career development. He is a co-author of “The Evolution of Korean Industrial and Employment Relations” (Edward Elgar), “The Korean Labor Market after the 1997 Economic Crisis” (Routledge), “Reforming Severance Pay: An International Perspective” (World Bank), “Labor Mobility in the Asia-Pacific Region” (Singapore ISEAS) and “Growth and Employment” (Bakyeongsa Seoul).