The UOS Times
Labor Laws to Protect Our Rights- With Professor Roh Sang-heon's advice for part-timers
Jeong Ji-eun  |
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[152호] 승인 2019.09.18  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글

Student interview

I started my first part-time job when I entered the university. Back then, the employer showed me a labor contract and asked me to sign it where he was pointing. However, I could not understand the terms of my labor contract because I didn’t know much about the laws of part-time jobs. Therefore, I had some confusion about my break time and so on. In another part-time job, I had definitely received less payment than I had calculated on the Internet. This got me thinking, but it was hard to tell the employer directly. In the end, I had no choice but to quit the job.

With the beginning of the new semester, a lot of the students are starting to seek part-time jobs. However, as you can see from the interview above, students who are unfamiliar with labor laws may receive wrongful treatment unwittingly. This case is obviously due to the lack of labor education for students, but there are only two universities in Seoul that have a general course on labor law apart from the major. Luckily, thanks to professor Roh Sang-heon, the University of Seoul (UOS) is one of the two schools just mentioned. Therefore, The UOS Times interviewed professor Roh Sang-heon of the law school, heard about the reason for opening that class, and the importance of labor education. The UOS Times also took professional advice about part-time job precautions by delivering the student’s interview to the professor.

Q. As a graduate of the law department of UOS, how do you feel about being a professor at UOS again? And what is the most memorable moment of your tenure?
I feel happy and my heart is full in that I can research and study with my juniors by becoming a professor at UOS. The memorable moment is 2007 when UOS was accredited to the Law School because I thought everyone’s efforts paid off.

Q. Why did you open general education class on labor law at UOS? Also, what do you think about the necessity of university students’ labor education?
A. Work is life and the survival itself, and we exist in an employment society where we live mostly through employment. An employment society is a society comprising of employment contracts such as the offering of labor and the payment of wages. Further, it refers to a community that recognizes us as valuable social beings through active employment and labor, and guarantees that institutionally. Therefore, I thought university students who will live by work and labor need to understand the labor law. UOS also understood this, so I could open the class.

Q. Have you ever helped students who had some difficulties with their part-time jobs? In that case, where can they ask for help to get compensation?
A. I advised a lot of students, mostly complaining about unpaid salaries. If students receive unfair treatment including payment problems during a part-time job, I think it is wise to consult a labor expert first and file a civil complaint with the Regional Employment and Labor Administration to get help from them.

The local labor office deals with problems such as payment of wages. You can find your local office by accessing the ‘Center Introduction’ banner on the homepage of the Ministry of Employment and Labor or call 1350.

Q. What labor laws must students who are seeking part-time jobs know about?
A. When students work at a part-time job, it is important to make sure of payments. Students should check the minimum hourly wage (8,350 KRW in 2019, and 8,590 KRW in 2020), statutory-leisure pay, overtime and late-night work allowance, and wage payment date. Also, students must fill out a standard labor contract (which can be found online), check the work content, work hours, and wages.

statutory-leisure pay
If you work three hours a day or over 15 hours a week, you can receive an additional one-day wage without having to work during the week or holidays. You can calculate the statutory-leisure pay on a daily wage: “fixed working hours × hourly wage (per day).” Statutory-leisure pay is for all employees who have worked over 15 hours a week.

overtime premium
The employer must pay an additional 50 percent of the employee’s wages in the following cases. These allowances apply only to workplaces employing more than five regular workers, so most of the part-timers are practically hard to receive that payment.

overtime allowance
If you work longer than the fixed working hours, you can receive this allowance. However, it is only applicable when working over 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day.

late-night work allowance
You can get a late-night work allowance if you work every night from 10 p.m. to (the following day) 6 a.m.

holiday work allowance
This is an allowance for working on a day appointed as a holiday for worker.

Q. Is there anything else you want to say to students at UOS?
A. I would like to tell my juniors to walk their own way with a long breath and not il-hee-il-bi (fluctuate between hopes and fears, in English) in small matters.

As he said, we are all now living in an employment society and concerning the law, ignorance can be a sin. However, the current society does not seem to care about the importance of labor law education. For the legitimate rights of our labor, we have to pay attention to that now. Schools and society should strive to offer more opportunities for labor education than now. Also, workers, including part-timers, and employers should try hard first to learn about the law on their own to protect their legitimate rights.

Jeong Ji-eun

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