Publications & Documents

  • 11-May-2023


    Disability, Work and Inclusion in Korea - Towards Equitable and Adequate Social Protection for Sick Workers

    Many people with health problems or disabilities leave the labour market permanently even if they still can and want to work. This can lead to low income and reduced social engagement. Governments and employers can help create an environment that supports job retention and a return to work in such situations. This report looks at one critical policy lever: the role of paid sick leave and sickness benefits in protecting workers’ health, jobs and incomes. Korea is among the very few OECD countries without statutory social protection for sick workers and is currently considering closing this gap in its welfare system. This report provides an overview of key features of sickness insurance systems in OECD countries and draws policy lessons for Korea to introduce equitable and adequate social protection for sick workers with a robust return-to-work component and financially sustainable payments that encourage employer involvement.
  • 11-May-2023


    Benefit Reforms for Inclusive Societies in Korea - Income Security During Joblessness

    Protecting people, rather than specific jobs, plays a key role in promoting labour-market inclusiveness and dynamism. Effective unemployment benefits reduce inequality, and raise productivity by facilitating a good match between workers’ skills and job requirements. They are a crucial policy lever for adapting to the major societal, technological and environmental transitions of our time. This report is the first of a number of OECD country reviews of income support policies. Each report analyses key policy challenges, discusses recent reform initiatives, and identifies good practices from other OECD countries. This report on Korea focuses on avenues for strengthening benefit coverage, income security and re-employment in the context of a 'dual' labour market with large parts of the workforce in short-duration, non-standard or informal employment. It welcomes Korea’s recent reforms towards more accessible jobseeker support, and points to priorities for additional policy action to make income and employment support more effective and inclusive.
  • 25-April-2023


    Taxing Wages: Key findings for Korea

    The tax wedge for the average single worker in Korea increased by 0.4 percentage points from 23.8% in 2021 to 24.2% in 2022. The OECD average tax wedge in 2022 was 34.6% (2021, 34.6%).

  • 16-March-2023


    Schools as hubs for social and emotional learning - Are schools and teachers ready?

    Schools are perfect hubs for social and emotional learning, but are they ready for this task? To address this question, this Spotlight reports previously unpublished findings from the OECD’s Survey on Social and Emotional Skills (SSES) and discusses their implications for education policy and practice. Both an active promotion in schools and extensive learning opportunities for teachers on relevant topics provide a fertile ground for an effective social and emotional education. They boost teachers’ self-efficacy and use of active learning pedagogies, as well as quality relationships at school. The Spotlight also points to important differences for teachers of 10- vs. 15-year-old students that can explain higher skills at a younger age. Younger students benefit more often from key elements of an effective social and emotional education in school, i.e. the evaluation of their social and emotional skills and teachers teaming up with parents to reinforce skill promotion. Teachers of 10-year-olds are also more intensively trained and requested to promote social and emotional learning in their work.
  • 16-December-2022


    Policies to increase youth employment in Korea

    Korea’s low youth employment rate has negative consequences for the young people concerned and the economy as a whole. Raising youth employment is a priority, particularly as Korea faces the most rapid population ageing among OECD countries. Low youth employment is due to a mismatch between education and the labour market, reflecting a large skill gap between highly-educated youth who race for credentials to secure attractive careers and older workers retiring from jobs that require less human capital. The share of university graduates among young Koreans is the highest in the OECD, but their employment rate is relatively low even as small firms confront serious labour shortages. Dualism in the labour market (between regular and non-regular workers) and the product market (between small and large firms) encourages young people to queue for jobs in large firms and the public sector to avoid low-wage precarious jobs. Raising the youth employment rate requires breaking down dualism while reforming the education system. Vocational education in secondary schools, which has shrunk while becoming another route to tertiary education, should be improved to make it a direct path to employment. Expanding the approach of Meister schools and the work-learning dual programme would help in that regard. Tertiary education should become more flexible and responsive to the demands of employers. Active labour market policies should focus less on direct job creation and more on job placement and training.
  • 13-December-2022


    How labour market outcomes reflect age, gender and skills in Korea

    Using micro-data from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), this paper seeks to answer how age, gender and childbirth are reflected in literacy proficiency, employment prospects and pay, and to which extent labour market outcomes are determined by these demographic profiles rather than education, skills and experience. It finds that literacy skills and tertiary education, objective measures of skills, which are highly correlated with employment and productivity in most OECD countries, do not significantly affect the likelihood of employment in Korea. Work experience and educational level are highly correlated with pay. Age, gender and parenthood are strongly correlated with both pay and employment. The weak link between objective skills and labour market outcomes points to a misallocation of human capital and likely a substantial loss of productivity.
  • 30-November-2022


    Strengthening the social safety net in Korea

    Social protection in Korea is designed around traditional forms of employment and excludes a substantial share of workers in non-standard employment. The resulting social protection gaps compound income inequality and undermine financial sustainability as uninsured persons rely on tax-financed benefits. Besides, Korea’s tax and benefit system discourages taking up or returning to low-paid work from social assistance or unemployment benefits. Expanding the reach of employment insurance while redesigning the tax and benefit system could boost work incentives and reduce inequality and poverty. The elderly poverty rate is persistently high, partly because public pensions and social insurance were introduced relatively recently. Better targeting the means-tested Basic Pension could reduce elderly poverty considerably. Lengthening careers is essential to ensure pension sustainability and adequate retirement income for future retirees. Shifting from a severance pay system to a corporate pension would help improve retirement income and lower employers’ incentives to push for early retirements. Reducing inequalities in access to health and long-term care will require expansion of primary care and affordable quality home-based care. This will also help address the overreliance on hospitals and cope with rising demand.
  • 20-September-2022


    OECD Reviews of Pension Systems: Korea

    This review provides policy recommendations on how to improve the Korean pension system, building on the OECD’s best practices in pension design. It details the key features of the Korean pension system and identifies its strengths and weaknesses based on cross-country comparisons. The Korean pension system consists of a mandatory pay-as-you-go public scheme, occupational schemes and voluntary individual schemes. The review also covers the first layer of old-age social protection in Korea. This review is the eighth in the series of OECD Reviews of Pension Systems.
  • 19-septembre-2022


    Corée : il faut améliorer la concurrence et la protection sociale pour soutenir la reprise, selon l’OCDE

    En Corée, l'activité économique est repartie sur des bases solides après la crise liée au COVID-19, tirée par la hausse de la consommation, de l’emploi et des exportations, tandis que le pays est moins directement exposé que d'autres économies aux risques provoqués par la guerre d'agression menée par la Russie en Ukraine : c’est ce qui ressort d'un nouveau rapport de l’OCDE.

    Documents connexes
  • 6-September-2022


    Young people’s environmental sustainability competence - Emotional, cognitive, behavioural, and attitudinal dimensions in EU and OECD countries

    The paper is the first in a series of two papers mapping young people’s environmental sustainability competence in EU and OECD countries that were prepared as background for the forthcoming OECD Skills Outlook 2023 publication. The papers are the results of a collaboration between the OECD Centre for Skills and the European Commission - Joint Research Centre (Unit B4) on students’ environmental sustainability competence. The second paper is titled: ‘The environmental sustainability competence toolbox: From leaving a better planet to our children to leaving better children for our planet’.
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