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Plans for Development of Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul

Jin-Woo JooㆍKyung-Hee ShinㆍHye-Young Kwon


Seoul has been practicing various policies for protection of rights and interests of vulnerable workers under the perception of ‘Special City Respecting Workers’ Rights’ since the mayor Park Won-soon took office in 2011. Labour policies such as turning temporary employees into permanent one in public sectors, introducing Living Wage System, implementing labour board system(Workers Participation in Management) and etc. are producing good results in short period. However protection works for vulnerable workers’ rights in private enterprises are in their beginning stages. ‘Master Plan on Labour Policy’ published in 2015 includes policies for reinforcement of an exemplary model of employers in public sector, protecting rights and interests of vulnerable workers and guarantee of labour rights in private enterprises.


Seoul established and is operating agencies for labour rights for vulnerable workers in private enterprises. Seoul Labour Center is a metropolitan agency for rights protection and welfare promotion for vulnerable workers. And Workfare Center is an on-site support agency which is set up in 4 districts. Working Mother Support Center and Senior Helpers Support Center which target is specified are run by Seoul, either.


These agencies for labour rights are activated in short period and their users’ satisfaction is comparatively high. However necessity to raise effectiveness of protection of labour rights is brought up by reestablishing status and roles of metropolitan labour center, District

Workfare Center and targeted labour rights agency because they are not operating based on a master plan.

In this point of view, following solutions can be suggested for synthetic and systematic development of agencies for labour rights.


First, Seoul Labour Center should get a status as a metropolitan herb agency and District Workfare Center as an on-site support agency, For this, simple counsels need to be processed in District Workfare Center and protection of rights and business planning for mass relief work need to be processed in Seoul Labour Center. And Seoul Labour Center needs to reinforce the strategic planning and policy research not only to protect individual workers’ rights but to ameliorate rights of workers in the same field. Support policies for vulnerable workers such as Labour Rights Protector, Honorary Citizenship Labour Ombudsman which are operated separately need to be managed systematically in agencies for labour rights.


Second, District Workfare Center which is set up only 4 districts now needs to be set up throughout all districts and raise its effectiveness as an on-site support agency. At the same time, it needs to reinforce basic labour counsel function by expanding employment of certified labour consultants, and support vulnerable workers who need to get focused-support according to characteristics of labour market. Also, it needs to support vulnerable workers’ autonomous community and try to make the environment which can guarantee the right to organize.


Third, supporting of labour administration needs to be reinforced for systematic development of agencies for labour rights. For this, strategic business for vulnerable workers needs to be led, cooperation method with districts needs to be arranged, communication and cooperation between labour policy department and other departments needs to be reinforced, and a joint business and cooperation among Seoul Ministry of Employment and Labour, Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and Employer Associations in Seoul is a necessity.

Also, plans for stable and continuous operation of agencies for labour rights need to be prepared due to vulnerable workers’ rights protection is largely activated. For this, a consignment agreement continuity needs to be ensured and in addition, development plan to Labour Foundation needs to be sought.


01 Introduction
1_Background and Purpose of the Study
2_Main Contents and Research Methods
02 Current State of Policies for Protection of Rights and Interests of Vulnerable Workers in Seoul
1_Progress of Policies for Vulnerable Workers in Seoul
2_Current State of Policies for Major Vulnerable Workers
03 Current State and Achievement of Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul
1_Current Operation State of Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul
2_Achievement of Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul
04 Utilization Status and Evaluation of Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul
1_User Surveys on Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul
2_Focus Group Interview
05 Plans for Development of Agencies for Labour Rights in Seoul
1_Future Tasks of Agencies for Labour Rights
2_Plans for Development