Littler Global Guide - South Korea - Q1 2024

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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Serious Accident Punishment Act Now Applies to Small Businesses

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Soowon Hong, Of Counsel | Registered Foreign Lawyer – Littler

Starting from January 27, 2024, the Serious Accident Punishment Act (the SAPA) will expand its scope to apply to businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The SAPA will apply to all businesses with five or more employees, regardless of business type or industry.

The SAPA imposes the duty on business owners and the representative of the business (generally the Representative Director of a company) to take safety and health measures, imposing heavy criminal liabilities for serious industrial accidents and serious public accidents arising from failure to perform such duties.

Interpretation of Overtime Limits

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Author: Soowon Hong, Of Counsel | Registered Foreign Lawyer – Littler

On January 22, 2024, the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) modified their official interpretation on the weekly 12-hour overtime limit rule stipulated in the Labor Standards Act, clarifying that (a) any overtime hours worked in excess of the daily eight hours’ limit will no longer be counted towards the 12-hour overtime limit and therefore (b) only the overtime hours exceeding the weekly 40 hours should be included. A breach of this rule will result in employer’s criminal liability.

The MOEL change is made in direct response to the recent Supreme Court decision, which made the above rule clear. The modified MOEL interpretation will be implemented immediately to all cases undergoing investigation or supervision of MOEL.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.