Starting on August 2, 2012, the revised Act on the Protection, etc. of Dispatched Workers (“APDW”) obligates secondary employers to directly hire any workers who are deemed to be unlawfully dispatched, regardless of the period of time that any such dispatched worker actually performs work for a secondary employer.

Prior to the amendment, secondary employers were only required to hire unlawfully dispatched workers (i.e., dispatched temporary workers that engage in work that falls outside of the original purpose for which they were dispatched or workers that are dispatched from unauthorized primary employer) only after such dispatched worker had performed work for the secondary employer for 2 years or more.

However, under the revised APDW, the secondary employer must directly hire any workers who are deemed to be unlawfully dispatched, regardless of the period of dispatch. This revision is in response to criticisms that allowing the termination of employment upon the discovery that an employee was unlawfully dispatched results in unstable employment conditions for such workers.

Going forward, in the event of obtaining service from or outsourcing a certain operation to a third party, employers may find it necessary to review whether such contractual relationship may be interpreted as a dispatch under the APDW and if so, whether such operation qualifies as the type of work for which employee dispatching is permitted and whether the primary employer has obtained the required licenses and permits to dispatch the said worker, etc.