The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) has found that most employers with foreign workers of Korean ethnic origin who entered the nation through “working visits” (H-2 visa) have not had their employment verified by the authorities or reported their commencement of service. To rectify this, the MOEL has granted an amnesty by allowing the employers to report the status of such workers voluntarily during October this year.
If employers make the correct reports during the amnesty, they will be exempt from penalties for failing to comply with ethnic Korean employment requirements and will be allowed to continue hiring workers with non-Korean nationalities.
Also, following the employers’ correct reporting, the workers will be granted legally-approved status by MOEL’s employment centers.
1. Ethnic Koreans who have entered Korea with work permits can seek employment voluntarily or find employment through a MOEL employment center after completing the vocational training courses offered by Human Resources Development of Korea and registering with one of the employment centers.
2. Employers, after trying to recruit Korean citizens for a specified time, can hire ethnic Koreans and then be issued special employment certificates. If the employers subsequently hire ethnic Koreans, they must report the commencement of service to an employment center within 10 days.
The MOEL will begin to investigate businesses employing foreign workers as soon as the amnesty ends to check if any of the companies violate the ethnic Korean employment requirements.
The investigation, which will be conducted for two months from November 1, will target construction sites, restaurants and other workplaces using non-Korean workers and focus on illegal hiring of foreign workers.
Notably, as several foreign workers were killed in industrial accidents, such as the flooded tunnel accident in Noryangjin, a western district of Seoul, and the collapse of Banghwa Bridge, the MOEL will also carry out a thorough inspection of construction sites along with industrial safety supervisors to check if the workers are working in safe environments.
In addition, the MOEL will launch a job matching website (www.eps.go.kr) on October 1.
The website is expected to help ethnic Koreans (who have non-Korean nationalities and have entered Korea with an H-2 visa) and Korean employers with a special employment certificate find each other more easily.
Source: KOILAF, October 1, 2013 (http://www.koilaf.net/KFeng/engLabornews/bbs_read_dis.php?board_no=8130)