South Korea increases minimum wage for workers

A January 31, 2013 press release from the Department of Education

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday reported that the Republic of Korea’s new minimum wage for all workers, including foreign workers under the Employment Permit System, has been increased.

In a report submitted to Secretary Baldoz, POLO Korea Labor Attaché Felicitas Q. Bay said the Ministry of Employment and Labour (MOEL) announced that effective January 1 until December 31 this year, the minimum daily wage for workers is 38,880 Korean won for eight hours of work a day, or a monthly rate of KRW 1,015,740 Korean won (equivalent to USD 958.00).

The new rate represents an increase of 5.76 percent over last year’s minimum wage rate of 36,640 Korean won for eight hours of work rendered.The minimum wage rate, however, shall not apply to workers with disabilities, those working in their family businesses, domestic workers, and seafarers.

The Minimum Wage Council of Korea is the official body composed of representatives from management, labor, and public interest, mainly academics, that determines the minimum wage through a system that guarantees minimum livelihood for workers.

The council recommends the minimum wage rate to the MOEL after its annual review and requires employers by law to pay wages not lower than the said rate.

“This is good news for OFWs working in Korea under the EPS,” Baldoz said.

The labor and employment chief also said that workers may seek assistance against employers who fail to pay the prescribed salary by going to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, or to the nearest job stability center which has jurisdiction over the concerned workers’ workplace.

Korea is one of the Philippines’s favored destinations for OFWs because of the demand for foreign workers under the EPS system, especially in labor shortage industries, such as agriculture, stockbreeding, fishery, construction, and manufacturing.

There are some 30,000 Filipino workers deployed to Korea since 2004, mostly working in the manufacturing sector.

dole.gov.ph