South Korean Platform Labour Market and its Mismatch with Social Protection System

South Korean Platform Labour Market and its Mismatch with Social Protection System

February 25, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021 | 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM (EST)

Korea’s platform labour market expanded considerably in a short period of time and there is also a diversity of platform labour. The purpose of this talk is to understand the operation of the Korean platform labour market and how the forms for work mismatch with Korean social security system. The study categorizes platform companies and platform labour in the Korean platform labour market, and examines differences and commonalities in their labour processes through case studies on delivery platforms, domestic service platforms, and freelance platforms. The differences according to the type of platform labour are as follows. First, the delivery platform was mainly mediated by four-way relations, and the domestic services and freelance platforms by three-way relationships. Second, the intensity of labour control and involvement of platform labour of platform companies was strong in the order of delivery platform, house service platform and freelance platform. Third, the differences in social security experiences and needs were mainly found in industrial accident insurance. The analysis confirms that the mismatch between platform labour and social security system does not only come from the vague employment relationship of platform workers, but rather the differences among the types of platform work need to be considered in discussing social security reform to solve the mismatch problem.

Sophia Seung-Yoon Lee received her DPhil (PhD) in Social Policy from the University of Oxford (UK) with her thesis on A Comparative study of East Asian welfare states and nonstandard workers. Her research interests are East Asian welfare state and labour markets, precarious work, basic income and institutionalism. Some of her selected publications are “Institutional legacy of state corporatism in de-industrial labour markets: a comparative study of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, Socio-economic Review (2016),” “Precarious Workers in South Korea, 한국의 불안정 노동자 Seoul: Humanitas, co-authored (2017),” “Precarious Elderly Workers in Post-Industrial South Korea, Journal of Contemporary Asia (2018).”  She was a member of the 4th National Pension Reform Committee of Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and currently the vice chairperson of Youth Policy Coordination Committee of Rep. of Korea.      

Chair: Yoonkyung Lee (Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Korea (CSK) at the University of Toronto)

This event is organized by Hae Yeon Choo (University of Toronto) and is presented by the Korean Office for Research and Education (KORE) at York University which is funded by the Academy of Korean Studies, and the Centre for the Study of Korea (CSK) at the University of Toronto.

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