Debate heats up over wages of Philippine caregivers


Korea’s plan to bring in 100 caregivers from the Philippines at the end of July for a pilot program aiming to ease the child care burden on young working parents and boost the declining birthrate has sparked a debate on their compensation.According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Monday, the Philippine government started recruitment of Philippine caregivers for the program earlier this month.Considering that the monthly cost of hiring caregivers from Korea or ethnic Koreans from China ranges from 2.5 million won ($1,800) to 4.5 million won, the concept of introducing foreign caregivers at a comparatively reduced cost, akin to practices in neighboring Hong Kong and Singapore, gained traction last year through proposals to exclude them from regulations that would honor their basic rights to receive minimum wage.

However, since Korea and the Philippines have both ratified international treaties that uphold the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) discrimination convention, which mandates equal remuneration and nondiscrimination based on nationality, the Korean government has stipulated a payment rate corresponding to the legal hourly minimum of 9,860 won ($7.20). This equates to a monthly salary exceeding 2 million won under the national 40-hour workweek standard.In that respect, several working parents view the solution as ineffective.“Lowered cost was the merit of hiring foreign nannies, but that seems to have disappeared now,” said a working mother surnamed Choi who raises 3-year-old twins with the help of her parents.Another Seoul-based working parent, who wished to be identified only by her surname Kwon, was also skeptical of taking advantage of the policy, saying she “would rather employ a Korean nanny for shorter working hours, considering this price range.”Meanwhile, many believe paying the minimum wage and granting 온라인카지노 equal labor standards for foreign caregivers is imperative.

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