The Korean Economic Forum
Recent Issues and Policy Direction on Protecting Workers in Special Employment Types: from the Perspective of Law and Economics
Ji-soon Park (Korea University) and Joonmo Cho (Sungkyunkwan University)Year 2018Vol. 11No. 2
The tsunami of changes wrought by the 4th industrial revolution andgroundbreaking advances in ICT technology have stimulated the rise of the‘platform economy’, where the supply and demand for labor are matched viainternet platforms. The suppliers of said labor - the platform workers - may bediscussed as currently belonging to the category of workers in specialemployment types. The government is currently pursuing the mandatoryenrollment of such workers in the social safety net such as employmentinsurance and industrial accident compensation insurance schemes. However, inlegislating protective measures for these workers - in particular, measures toexpand the social safety net - it will be inappropriate to apply the conventionaland outdated factory-based framework. Expanding the social security system ina ‘one size fits all’ manner fashioned after factory workers would signify anexpansion that reflects neither the current industries / occupations nor theircharacteristics in terms of social security. Expanding mandatory enrollment inemployment insurance predicated on some baseline income withoutmeans-testing runs the risk of causing reactions such as various forms of moralhazard and the ensuing waste of resources, in addition to resistance against theexpansion of social security on the part of groups of people who will consider ita form of quasi-taxation. In order to design and fairly implement social securityin a more flexible and wider manner for workers in diverse occupations, thecurrent social security system must be premised on means testing whilesimultaneously being redesigned so as to reflect occupational characteristics.}