Majority of Office Workers Face Abuse of Power by Civil Servants, Poll Reveals
According to a recent survey conducted by labor civic group Workplace Gapjil 119 and the Beautiful Foundation, a staggering 83.9% of office workers in South Korea believe that power abuse against employees by civil servants is a serious problem in society. The survey covered 1,000 office workers aged 19 and above across the country, and the results shed light on the prevalent issue.
Among the respondents, more than 80% of general workers, working-level employees, and middle managers expressed their concerns over the abusive behavior they face from higher-ranking officials. Disturbingly, even at the managerial level, 66.7% acknowledged the gravity of this power abuse problem.
The survey also revealed that 58.8% of the respondents believed that their companies failed to adequately protect them from power abuse by civil servants. What’s more alarming is that nearly 30% of the participants were completely unaware of the existence of laws aimed at safeguarding emotional well-being in the workplace. This lack of awareness was particularly pronounced among irregular workers (37.3%), non-office workers (35.6%), low-wage workers (35.5%), and upper-level managers (36.1%).
The Emotional Workers Protection Act, which was implemented in October 2018 as an amendment to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, requires employers to take proactive measures, such as implementing voice guidance and implementing work stoppages or shifts, to prevent health issues among service workers due to verbal abuse from customers. However, a number of reported cases demonstrate that employers often retaliate against employees who have been victimized, either by downgrading their performance ratings or coercing them into accepting unfair demands from complainants.
Speaking on the matter, Kwon Ho-hyeon, a lawyer specializing in workplace abuse cases, emphasized the need for comprehensive support for affected employees. “No one’s salary should include ‘swearing money’,” he stated. “Companies must prioritize the well-being of employees who have suffered abuse and provide them with adequate rest and legal assistance, including counseling and litigation support.”
Kim Ye-seul, Reporter
8 out of 10 office workers ‘serious abuse of power against civil servants’ 3 out of 10 ‘don’t even know there is a protection law’ “There is a desperate need for control and oversight of employers at government level”
▲ ㅇ Five years have passed since the so-called ‘Emotional Workers Protection Act’ (Article 41 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act), which protects workers from verbal abuse by customers, was passed action, but 8 out of 10 office workers are below the middle managers have a serious problem of abusing power against complainants A survey showed that people feel they do.
As a result of a survey of 1,000 office workers aged 19 or over across the country conducted by labor civic group Workplace Gapjil 119 and the Beautiful Foundation between the 4th and 11th of last month, 83.9% of office workers responded , ‘The problem of Capjil against civil servants is serious in our society.’ By rank, in the case of general workers, working level workers, and middle managers, more than 80% responded that ‘abuse of power against civil servants is serious.’ In the case of higher level managers, only 66.7% responded that the abuse of power against complainants was serious.
In addition, 58.8% of respondents answered that ‘the company does not protect employees from abuse of power by complainants.’ It was found that 29.2% of respondents did not even know that there was a law to protect emotional workers. Irregular workers (37.3%), non-office workers (35.6%), low wage workers (35.5%), and upper level managers (36.1%) responded that they were not aware of the emotional worker protection law.
The Emotional Workers Protection Act (Occupational Safety and Health Amendment Act), which came into effect in October 2018, requires employers to take preventative measures such as voice guidance and work stoppages or changeovers to prevent service worker health problems customers due to verbal abuse from customers. However, there are many cases where employers reduce the ratings of damaged workers or force them to accept unreasonable demands from complainants.
Kwon Ho-hyeon, a lawyer for Workplace Abuse 119, pointed out that, “No one’s salary includes ‘swearing money’,” and added, “The company must provide rest to employees who have been abused by complainants and take legal protective measures, such as counseling and litigation support.” .
Reporter Kim Ye-seul
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