Saturday, July 30, 2011

Period for applications for reemployment of foreign workers largely extended

Any employer who wants to reemploy his/her foreign worker will be allowed to apply for reemployment just seven days before end of the employment period.
On July 5, the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) amended the Enforcement Regulations of the Act on Foreign Workers' Employment etc., which contains this feature.

The reemployment system is a system under which if an employer applies for the reemployment of a foreign worker who entered Korea under the Employment Permit System before expiration of the three-year employment period, the employment period can be extended by less than two years.

So far an employer has been required to apply for reemployment at least 45 days (or 15 days in case where the foreign worker 
has been employed with the employer for three months or longer before the expiration date) before the expiration date. As a result, workplaces have frequently missed their reemployment application deadlines.

In addition, if a workplace misses its application deadline, it cannot reemploy the foreign worker, and the foreign worker should return to his/her home country.

However, henceforth, an employer will be allowed to apply for reemployment just seven days before expiration of the employment period.

Yet if an employer is to request the reemployment of his/her foreign worker, the foreign worker s
hould be employed with the employer for at least one month before expiration of the employment period.

Allowing the employer who has employed the foreign worker for at least a certain period to apply for his/her reemployment will be compatible with the purpose of the reemployment system.

If a foreign worker does not get any assurance of reemployment from his/her current employer despite that the expiration date of the employment period draws near, a broker often approaches the foreign worker and arranges for another work place to request his/her reemploymnet. the amendment is intended to prevent such problem.

Besides, the amendment includes reducing the required hours of employment education for foreign workers from 20 hours or more to 16 hours or more.

And the scope of workers for which agencies can make applications for employment permits on behalf of employers will be extended to ethnic Koreans of a foreign nationality (H-2 visa holders). Up until now it has been limited to foreign workers (E-9 visa holders).

Lee Jae-gap, Deputy Minister of the Employment Policy Office, said, "The amendment actively reflects demands from workplaces and is expected to largely reduce difficulties resulting from missing a reemployment application deadline and block brokers' intervention in the reemployment process."

The amended Enforcement Regulations will go into effect on August 1.


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