South Korea's labor minister vowed efforts Thursday to make it possible for artists to receive benefits from the employment insurance system starting next year as a parliamentary panel approved related legislation.
The parliamentary labor committee on Monday passed a revision to the employment insurance act to enable artists to be included in the labor safety net. If passed at a plenary session, artists will be able to receive unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.
"The government plans to seamlessly prepare for related sub-legislation to enable artists to receive the benefits of the employment insurance scheme starting next year," Labor Minister Lee Jae-kap said at a meeting with artists.
Lee stressed the "urgent" need to expand the employment safety net for artists as the COVID-19 health crisis put their livelihoods at risk.
South Korea is working to gradually expand the employment insurance system to all working people as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to take a toll on the already sluggish job market.
Initially, a revision to the employment insurance act was submitted to expand the scope of its beneficiaries to not only artists but also non-standard contract employees, such as tutors and delivery workers.
But during a review at the parliamentary committee, non-standard contract workers were excluded from the list.
Non-standard contract employees, freelancers, artists, the self-employed and other vulnerable workers are not obliged to subscribe to the employment insurance as they are not regarded as workers under the Labor Standards Act. (Yonhap)