Contributed By Yoon & Yang LLC (Seoul - HQ)
Korean labour laws do not distinguish blue-collar workers from white-collar workers, and these terms are merely used to describe employees providing different categories of work. Hence, both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers fall under “employees” defined under the Labor Standards Act, and are subject to identical treatment under other labour-related laws. The Labor Standards Act defines “employees” as persons who provide labour to businesses or at workplaces for the purposes of earning wages, irrespective of job types.
Meanwhile, forms of employment can be largely categorised into two types, which are (i) direct employment by the employer and (ii) indirect employment of another employer’s employee. The foregoing forms may be further narrowed down based on the employee’s employment contract period and roles.
Direct employment by the employer can be further specified based on the employment contract period, that is, (i) “employment contracts without a fixed term” (ie indefinite employment contracts) and (ii) “employment contracts with a fixed term” (ie definite employment contracts). Further, employees who are employed under definite employment contracts can be narrowed down into fixed-term employees and part-time employees.
Employees under indirect employment (ie employees of one employer being used by another employer) can be further categorised as “dispatched agency employees” and “subcontracted employees”.
There are no differences in statuses between employees across the job types. All types of workers are considered identically as employees under the Labor Standards Act, and all labour-related laws equally apply to both types of workers.