Last year, both the number of workers affected by arrears and the amount of arrears decreased. The Ministry of Employment and Labor will provide intensive guidance to prevent and settle wage arrears ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.
According to the Ministry of Labor on the 9th, as of November last year, the amount of arrears in arrears was 1.23 trillion won, down 14.6% from the same month a year ago. During the same period, the number of unpaid workers also decreased by 16.6% to 226,539. The liquidation rate of unpaid wages was 83.3%. This means that workers returned 1.278 trillion won of the total arrears.
The Ministry of Labor analyzed that the decrease in the liquidation rate of unpaid wages was due to the active use of the overdue payment system and the guidance of the Ministry of Labor. In particular, the resolution rate of unpaid wages through the guidance of the Ministry of Labor rose from 47.5% in 2019 to 52.6% in 2020 and 54.1% last year as of November every year.
The Ministry of Labor is operating a three-week intensive guidance period from the 10th to the 30th to continue the results of the settlement of unpaid wages. It selects and provides advance guidance to workplaces where wage arrears frequently occur, such as workplaces with arrears in social insurance premiums and construction sites, and promptly responds to reports of arrears occurring during holidays and nights through emergency work. The head of the local labor office directly guides the site where large sums and collective payments have occurred.
In order to stabilize the livelihood of workers who have suffered arrears in payment, the period for processing simple loan payments will be temporarily shortened from 14 days to 7 days. The cost of living loan interest rate will also be cut by 0.5 percentage points from 1.5% to 1.0%. The loan limit is 10 million won per person, and 20 million won in areas with employment crisis and special employment support industries. Even business owners who have been unable to pay wages inevitably due to poor management are provided with benefits such as loan interest discounts.
Minister Ahn Gyeong-deok said, “We will strictly enforce the law against intentional violations of the law, such as habitual late payment of wages.”