In order to pursue its currently most important labor reform initiative, i.e., protection of non-regular workers (including fixed-term workers), South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor ("MOEL") announced that it would enact the "Guidelines for Job Security for Fixed-term Workers" (the “Guidelines”) as a follow-up measure to its “measures to resolve labor market dualism” announced on March 10, 2016, and that it would enforce the Guidelines from April 8, 2016.

1. Main Contents of the Guidelines

The Guidelines address matters, such as converting non-regular workers to regular status, establishing a reasonable employment contract period and prohibiting the abuse of negotiating power in contract renewal and reducing unreasonable discrimination. The main details of the Guidelines are provided below.

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2. MOEL’s Strategy for Securing Effectiveness of the Guidelines

MOEL has announced that it will monitor compliance and implementation of the Guidelines in order to secure effectiveness of such Guidelines. Meanwhile, MOEL has declared a plan for 2016 to essentially inspect discrimination against non-regular workers during its labor inspection of all workplaces. Even in cases where the observed discrimination does not qualify as discriminatory treatment under current Korean labor laws, MOEL has declared that it will issue administrative guidance for the non-discriminatory application of matters, such as various welfare arrangements to non-regular workers pursuant to the Guidelines.