Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Law of Unintended Consequences and Korean Labor Law

It is no surprise that the Act to Protect Non-Regular Workers, under which "temporary workers who have worked for more than two years at the same company are considered regular workers," hasn't had the effect intended by the left-liberals who imposed it, as anyone with a basic understanding of economics or human nature could have told you — Just 1 in 6 Temps Get Permanent Jobs: Labor Ministry.

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Blogger Jonny said...

Speaking of that law, the amazingly-low minimum wage here in Korea points to the foolishness of having such a law in the first place. Is it possible that someone really thinks that requiring employers to pay at least 4,000 won and change an hour is really going to improve the conditions of those at the bottom of the job ladder?

10:40 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I've seen this first hand. Adjunct professors have become nomads, drifting from university to university. It's an idiotic law with consequences that surprised no one in the workplace.

2:59 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Utterly stupid law whose consequences were obvious.

I actually benefited from the law. Our university is rurally located, so its hard to attract people as they can in Seoul. Our department wanted to keep us, but the administration didn't want to make us permanent.

A mid-level functionary, God bless him, came up with an idea in which we would get our pay almost doubled to put us over the exemption line (PhD-holders and those making above a certain amount need not be made permanent in the third year) in exchange for a pretty substantial increase in teaching hours.

I've always been a Stakhanovite, taking on as much overtime as I could (not for socialist reasons but for good old fashioned Austrian School time preference -- working hard now for future goals), so the change was not too drastic for me. Others, who prefer to work fewer hours and enjoy the present with TV and sports, are having difficulty with the change.

6:47 PM  

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