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Employment law in Asia can vary from being practically non existent to being very complex. This means managing a workforce that operates across Asia can be extremely challenging. The difficulty for those charged with the responsibility for implementing good human resources practice and ensuring workplace law compliance across Asia is knowing these types of differences and when they matter. Managing this complexity can also be extremely time and resource intensive. Freehills' Employee Relations – Asia provides a dedicated 'one-stop-shop' for workplace legal and strategy advice across the region and has built a network of trusted lawyers across Asia. The group covers all areas of workplace law and strategy across the region, including: employment aspects of corporate transactions - restructure, outsourcing and redundancy issues, offshoring to Asia; reviewing employment contracts and policy; drafting employment contracts and managing termination issues; expatriate employment issues; workplace risk management; industrial relations; and training.

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Significant Amendments to Impending Korea Industrial Relations Laws

On 1 January 2010, the Korean National Assembly passed a Bill significantly affecting labour unions and employers with unionised workforces. The Bill also sets out the timetable for implementation in 2010 and 2011.

The provisions, which were strongly opposed by unions 13 years ago, deal with:

  1. prohibiting employers from paying remuneration to full-time union officials (currently this is permitted); and
  2. giving legal permission for multiple unions to be established at a single worksite (currently each enterprise may legally only have one trade union).

To read more about this development, click here.

Contributors:  George Cooper, Partner, and Celia Yuen, Senior Associate

Strong Opposition from Korean Unions to Proposed Implementation of Laws

Korean Labour Minister Yim Tae-hee recently announced that the government intends to give effect to legal provisions with a significant effect on labour unions and employers with unionised workforces in early 2010.

The provisions set to take effect in 2010 deal with:

  • prohibiting employers from paying remuneration to full-time union officials, and
  • giving legal permission for multiple unions to be established at a single worksite (currently each enterprise may legally only have one trade union).
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