South Korea plans to allow delivery workers and designated drivers to receive benefits from the labor insurance system starting next year as the government seeks to expand the occupational safety net, a senior government official said Friday.
It is part of the government’s plan to expand unemployment insurance to all workers as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a heavy strain on the labor market.
According to Deputy First Treasury Secretary Lee Eog-weon, the government plans to allow some platform workers, including delivery drivers and designated drivers, to take out unemployment insurance from January.
Moving allows them to receive unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.
To strengthen the social safety net, the government has allowed artists and 12 special types of workers, including insurance agents, to join unemployment insurance since December last year.
South Korea introduced the unemployment insurance program in 1995 as the main employment safety net for regular workers.
All employers who hire at least one employee had to register for unemployment insurance from 1998 onwards.
Special contract workers, freelancers, the self-employed and other vulnerable workers are not obliged to take out unemployment insurance, as they are not considered employees within the meaning of the Labor Standards Act. (Yonhap)