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Wage Increase to Benefit OFWs in South Korea

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A 7.1 percent minimum wage increase is hope to benefit more than 35, 000 Filipino workers in South Korea next year once it is approved by the Korean Minister of Employment and Labor.

This good news about the wage increase was informed by Seoul Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay to Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, right after it was passed by Minimum Wage Council Chairman Park Jun-sung during the 7th plenary session.
Workers, including OFWs, under the Employment Permit System (EPS) will receive 5, 580 Korean won per hour or US$5.5 once it is applied starting January 1 until December 31, 2015.

EPS is the program selected by the Korean government to accept non-professional foreign workers in its small and medium industries under a transparent and efficient process of selecting, sending and receiving foreign workers through a government-to-government agreement.

According to Secretary Baldoz, the wage hike was decided based on the average wake hikes by collective bargaining agreements or CBAs and income distribution improvement rates, that indicates the wage level of workers belonging in a same category.

But not all can benefit from this wage increase. Those working in family business and living in the same residence, seafarers governed by the Seafarers Act, domestic workers, and those who do limited work because of physical or mental abilities are not covered by the salary changes, except if their exclusion is permitted by their Minister of Employment and Labor.

Seoul Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay added that the South Korea’s Minimum Wage Council will have to submit the wage proposal to the Minister of Employment and Labor for the purpose of public announcement and to be able to give the workers’ and employers’ representatives a 10-day adjustment period for any objections.

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