Departmental Bulletin Paper 企業福祉の変容からみえる企業規模別格差問題―日本と韓国の企業福祉と韓国の社内勤労福祉基金を中心に―
Examining Inequities by Corporation Size through Changes in Employee Welfare―Corporate Welfare of Japan and South Korea, a Focus on the Corporate Welfare Fund System of South Korea―

姜, 英淑

 This paper provides an overview of the improvement process of work environments and the purpose of employee benefits in Japan and Korea starting in the 1970s. Employee benefits in Japan have been based on a system of paternalism. In the 1990s, a new employee benefit policy, known as the Cafeteria Plan, was introduced. This system leveled unequal benefit gaps among workers by allowing them to choose suitable plans.However, even today, disparities among companies and among employment status have yet to be resolved. Employee benefits in Korea began to develop after the economic growth period of the 1970s, along with state interest and intervention. Although the 1980s saw active labor unions, the state still maintained power over them. A decade later, employee benefits expanded to complement the national social welfare system, although inequity among corporations and patterns of employment is still seen today. As the relationship between employee benefits and social welfare programs is considered complementary, we must strive to diminish these gaps. It is from this point of view that this paper focuses on the employee welfare fund, one of the corporate welfare systems in Korea,and examines the issue of inequality of employee benefits. The purpose of establishing corporate welfare fund systems in Korea is to give company profit back to the employees and to support employee wealth accumulation. This system,however, is only found in small numbers of companies with high productivity; for this reason gaps among corporations still exist. In particular, the disproportionate ratio of the size of the companies (major businesses: 0.1%; minor enterprises: 99.9%) enlarges the gaps. Also, thisfunding system only targets full-time workers, leading to a widening of gaps between parttime and full-time workers. The “Union Fund” has been argued to help minimize inequities based on corporation size and employment-patterns. The Union Fund is a welfare fund not only for individual corporations but also for subcontractors. This fund also involves part-time workers, a fact that serves to minimize employment pattern gaps.

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