Korea's Minimum Wage Will Be Increased in 2016

Korea’s Minimum Wage Council has decided to increase next year’s minimum wage to 6,030 KRW (approx.  5.35 USD) from the current 5,580 KRW (approx. 4.95 USD), which is an increase of 8.1 percent and 450 KRW (approx. 40 U.S. cents).

This change will mean that if one is to work 209 hours per month, he or she will get 1,260,000 KRW (approx. 1116 USD).

Out of 27 council members 16 participated in the vote with 15 of them voting for the increase.

Due to this single-digit number increase, nine labor members of the council who opposed this action did not the participate in the vote, and two management members expressed their view that a 8.1 percent increase will create a burden for small businesses and left the scene.

The labor group who hoped for at least a two-digit increase is opposing this new amendment and stated that they will do everything they can to increase the minimum wage to 10,000 won KRW (approx. 8.87 USD), which was their original goal.

The Korea Employers’ Federation said, “With such an excessive amount, small and independent businesses can go into bankruptcy or reduce their hire for new employment.”

Next year’s minimum wage will be finalized and announced by the Ministry of Labor’s minister in August 5 after a 20-day talk discussing objections. 

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