Amid signs of reduced hiring in the face of higher wage base, corporate taxes, and cut in working hours, the South Korean government has come up with incentives to reward employers that create decent jobs.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor on Wednesday said it will award companies that contribute to job creation, particularly to those that help expand quality jobs. The government will review and announce the awardees in May.
Under the plan, the employment ministry will review the quality of jobs increased by companies and announce top 100 entities under three different categories by business size including small, medium-size and large enterprises. The ministry will first sort out 500 candidates that have contributed to boosting employment over a year period from March, last year. It will then conduct an on-spot inspection to review actual payroll expansion, wage level, and share of irregular workers, before selecting best employers. The ministry plans to announce finalists of top 30 companies with best job hiring record. The awardees will receive administrative privileges.
The government’s move comes as companies’ employment conditions have remained almost unchanged despite recovering economy. According to Statistics Korea, the unemployment rate for those between 15 and 29 stood at 9.2 percent in November, reaching the monthly highest since the agency started compiling related data in 1999.
A survey by the Maeil Business Newspaper in December showed that eight out 10 small and mid-sized enterprises won’t newly hire or will cut payroll in 2018. This year, the legal hourly wage floor went up by 16.4 percent and working hours were reduced on top of increased labor cost from broader wage base scope.
By Sohn Il-seon and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]