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New Administration’s National Agenda and Labor Policy Direction


On May 3, 2022, the Presidential Transition Committee (the "Committee") unveiled its "20 Promises to the People" and "110 National Agenda," which are commitments and policies to achieve the Yoon Administration's goals and objectives.  In creating a society where the value of labor is respected, the Committee proposed the following seven national agenda items in [Table 1] below related to labor.  It should also be mentioned that President Yoon's term officially started on May 10, 2022.

[Table 1] Governmental Affairs in the Labor Sector

Governmental Affairs Goal 20 Promises to the People Governmental Affairs
(Governmental Affairs Goals #3)
Warm companionship; a country where everyone is happy.
(Promise #10)
We will create a society where the value of labor is respected.
49. Strengthening industrial accident prevention and supporting the establishment of an autonomous safety management system for companies
50. Establish fair labor-management relations and achieve gender-equal employment
51. Establishment of a win-win labor market through labor-management cooperation
52. Enhance the effectiveness of job creation projects and enhance employment services
53. Enhance the employment safety net and its sustainability
54. Support vocational skills development and self-training by different stages of life for everyone
55. Strengthen support for job training tailored to SMEs and sole proprietors


The details of the National Agenda, as described later below under [Table 2], reveal that most of the labor policies that President Yoon announced during the election campaign are included.  Through this announcement, we can additionally confirm that the key labor policies the Yoon Administration plans to focus on are (i) safety, (ii) fairness and (iii) co-prosperity.  Considering the current legislative environment (i.e., supermajority control by the Democratic Party), it is expected that amendments to Enforcement Decrees and guidelines of labor statutes will be prioritized, while issues requiring amendments to statutes will be pursued gradually over time through continuous social dialogue and consensus building.

  • First and foremost, to establish a safe labor market, the Yoon Administration is expected to establish a roadmap to reduce serious accidents, identify major tasks to pursue, and further strengthen support for industrial accident prevention.  In addition, it is anticipated that uncertainties regarding management's obligation to ensure safety and health that arose after enforcement of the Serious Accidents Punishment Act will be primarily addressed by distributing guidelines and manuals.  However, considering the legislative environment, the process of revising the laws and regulations related to occupational safety and health, including the Serious Accidents Punishment Act, is expected to be pursued as a long-term project.  On the other hand, the government will make efforts to resolve the blind spots of industrial accident compensation insurance by revising the "exclusivity requirement"1 to ensure the industrial safety of the specially employed and platform workers.

  • Next, in order to establish a fair labor market, the government is planning to pursue the following: (i) guarantee fair employment opportunities, (ii) protect the labor rights of the vulnerable, (iii) create a foundation for gender-equal employment, and (iv) establish fair labor-management relations.  As of now, efforts will be focused on rectifying unfair hiring clauses in, for example, the collective bargaining agreements ("CBAs") of various companies, such as preferential hiring of children of retired or long-term employees, and strictly disciplining any unfair dismissals, unfair labor practices, and illegal strikes by the labor union in accordance with the relevant laws and principles.

  • In order to establish a labor market based on shared prosperity between labor and management, policies such as (i) expansion of working hour options, (ii) expansion of a joint Labor-Management Council comprised of employee representatives from both prime contractors and subcontractors, and (iii) expansion of age-based wage schemes will be pursued.  Meanwhile, in order to reform the wage system, policies such as strengthening the provision of wage information by job and occupation through the wage job information system and disseminating a wage system reform manual will be implemented with top priority.

In addition to efforts focusing on safety, fairness and co-prosperity, the government will also improve employment services for companies and job seekers, restructure government-led job creation projects, support development of vocational skills and self-training, and strengthen vocational training.

According to the Committee's press release, in the early days of President Yoon's Administration, rather than immediately pursuing macro-labor reforms that change the basic framework of the labor market, we understand the new government will pursue stability, fairness and co-prosperity in the labor market through small changes under the current system, and that legislative matters will continue with social dialogue to build consensus around amending existing laws.  Jung-Sik Lee, the former secretary-general of the Korea Labor-Management Development Foundation, will be introduced as the Minister of Employment and Labor in the Yoon Administration.

[Table 2] Labor Sector National Agenda and Key Issues

Governmental Tasks Key Issues*
49. Strengthen industrial accident prevention and support autonomous corporate safety management systems
  • Present roadmap to reduce serious accidents
  • Expand industrial accident prevention support and create system of co-existence for large-small businesses
  • Innovate industrial accident prevention infrastructure
  • Establish health protection system
  • Eliminate blind spots for industrial accident compensation and support rehabilitation/return to the workforce
    -  Eliminate industrial accident compensation insurance blind spots for special employment and platform workers
  • Revise relevant sections of the Occupational Safety and Health Act law
    -  Resolve uncertainties in the field by amending laws and regulations, and clarify the safety and health obligations of management through guidelines and manuals
50. Establish fair labor-management relations and actualize gender equality in employment 
  • Create fair employment opportunities
    -  Enact Fair Hiring Act; correct unfair hiring practices in CBAs
  • Protect labor rights of vulnerable populations
    -  Prepare policy measures to address difficulties of youth employment as to part-time work
  • Actualize gender equality in employment
    -  Expand child care leave period and eligibility for child care leave benefits (Special Employment Act, etc.), expand paternity leave and leave of absence for subfertility treatment
  • Establish fair labor-management relations
    -  Handle unfair dismissal/unfair labor practices, illegal labor union strikes etc. according to the law and principles
51. Establish a labor market of coexistence through labor-management cooperation
  • Expand autonomous working hours
    -  Expand the working hours settlement period, introduce measures to manage overtime work such as work hour savings account systems, relax regulations on work hours for startup professionals
  • Participatory and cooperative labor relations
    -  Strengthen representative authority and independence of employee members in labor-management councils
  • Expand coexistence in subcontracting labor-management councils
    -  Encourage the voluntary establishment and operation of a joint labor-management council
  • Expand generational co-existence in wage system
    -  Strengthen the provision of wage information by job/occupation and expand support for reorganizing wage systems based on corporate demand
  • Strengthen systematic prevention of labor-management conflicts and mediation thereof
    -  Establish mediation system centered on labor relation experts, such as standing committee members of labor relation commissions
52. Enhance effectiveness of job creation projects and advance employment services
  • Job seeker leap forward guarantee package
    -  Provide employment service packages based on lifecycle
  • Corporate leap forward guarantee package
    -  Provide specialized support for strategic/crisis industries regarding industrial conversion through hub-specific centers
  • Advance digital employment services
  • Optimize employment service delivery system
  • Restructure job creation projects
    -  Strengthen linkage between job creation projects and budgets, integrate similar and overlapping direct job creation projects
53. Strengthen employment security net and enhance sustainability 
  • Minimize employment insecurity due to industrial restructuring
    -  Strengthen policy support through agency cooperation
  • Strengthen employment security net
    -  Reorganize employment insurance to management system based on individual income
    -  Expand employment insurance coverage to self-employed workers and agriculture/fishery sector workers based on societal discussions
    -  Secure financial soundness of Employment Insurance Fund
  • Enhance sustainability of unemployment benefits
54. Support vocational skills development and self-training for people at all stages in life 
  • Restructure programs
    -  Reorganize training programs to ensure vocational training is sufficiently provided for each stages of life
  • Create online/offline training ecosystem
  • Establish workplace learning infrastructure
55. Strengthen customized vocational training for SMEs and self-employed workers 
  • Support customized training for SMEs
    -  Introduce corporate vocational training card (corporate vocational training voucher), support joint training programs for small businesses
  • Introduce capacity development specialists
  • Expand support for platform workers and self-employed workers
    -  Provide specialized training for platform workers based on occupation and capacity
    -  Relax the income thresholds as to eligibility for the Tomorrow Learning Card (TLC)
  • Transition to forward-looking approach
    -  Improve the quality of training programs by enhancing the autonomy and innovation of training institutions

(*) Examples are limited to major issues included in the Presidential Transition Committee’s National Agenda.


1 In general, if a worker regularly provides his/her labor and receives remuneration for a single business, he/she is required to subscribe to industrial accident compensation insurance as he/she meets the exclusivity requirement for special employment. Currently, the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service determines the exclusivity of quick service drivers based on their monthly income of KRW 1.15 million and monthly working hours of 93 hours or more.


[Korean version]