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If the Employer can demonstrate that the time they were close was due to a Government Directive then they do not have to pay the shutdown allowance of 70%.  The Government Directive is not what is posted in the Newspapers, it is posted on the Ministry of Health's website.  Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip announced on Wednesday all daycare centers in the country will be closed from February 27 to March 8.  So, if you work at a Licensed Day Care, then the Employer does not have to pay the shutdown allowance of 70% on the other hand if you work at a Box Factory, you would have to be paid in the even the Employer shuts down the work place.

If there is no Shutdown allowance then the time the Employee is not working is considered Unpaid Leave.  If the Employee would like to utilized some of their Annual Leave Allowance instead of Unpaid Leave that is allowed.  Annual Leave is gained at the rate of 1 day per month, and after 10 Months it jumps to 15 days.

Here is an article on the subject matter prepared by Dr. Bongsoo Jung of KangNam Labor Law Firm.

Author:  Dr. Bongsoo Jung, PhD.
  Managing Partner,
    KangNam Labor Law Firm

Date:  Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Article Reference code:  X1U890

Corona Virus Infections and Shut-down Allowances
I. Introduction
 The spread of coronavirus infections has severely hampered business activity. All areas where an infected person has been are temporarily closed and infected individuals are quarantined. The Seoul Lotte Department Store was closed for a period of time, and the Gwangju Post Office was temporarily closed and then reopened. There are reports that Samsung Electronics in Gumi, North Gyungsang province might be temporarily closed. When a workplace is shut down and closed, it is difficult for the workers to survive, so the Labor Standards Act guarantees a wage of 70% on average as a shut-down allowance in case of closure for reasons attributable to the employer. It is possible to reduce a shut-down allowance if there is a huge disruption to the operation of the business to the point where the employer cannot continue to operate. In addition, the Civil Act states that if a worker is suspended due to the intention or negligence of an employer, the full wage shall be paid (Article 538), but if the business is closed through no fault of the employer, the shut-down allowance shall not be paid (Article 537). Payments can be divided into: (i) 100% pay, (ii) payment of shut-down allowances, (iii) reduction of shut-down allowances, and (iv) unpaid leave.
 Here, I would like to explain the legal stipulations of shut-down allowances in accordance with the spread of coronavirus infections and to examine related cases in detail.

2. Companies’ countermeasures
(1) In case of individual infection: If an employee is infected during his personal activities, he/she will be quarantined and treated according to the relative infectious disease prevention method, and in case of suspension, there will be certain financial support in the government (Article 41 of the IDPA). In similar cases to this, it has been held as a principle that any absence would be considered unpaid leave because it was attributed to personal fault. However, if an employee is infected during a business trip, this is considered to be a work-related illness under the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act (Article 34 of the Enforcement Decree of the Act).
(2) Shut-downs due to the presence of an infected person: If an infected person caught the infection at the workplace and the workplace is closed in order to prevent spread of the disease, this may not be regarded as attributable to the employer, and may be an exception to the payment of shut-down allowances.
(3) Closed to prevent infection: If an employer shuts down a workplace to prevent the spread of an infectious disease according to the law and the government's instructions, this may be considered an exception to the shut-down allowance. However, in the event of shut-down in order to prevent infection, shut-down allowance shall be paid.
(4) In case of shut-downs due to the lack of raw materials caused by the coronavirus: Shut-down allowances shall be paid. However, in case of a long-term shut-down, which causes enormous disruption to business operations, shut-down allowances may not be paid with the approval of the Labor Relations Commission (Article 46 of the LSA - Paragraph 2).


III. Legal Standards of Shut-down Allowances
1. Concept
 According to the Labor Standards Act, when a worker is suspended for reasons attributable to the employer, the employer shall be required to pay at least 70% of the average wage (or 100% of the ordinary wage) (Article 46 (1)). However, if it is impossible to continue the business for unavoidable reasons, an amount that is less than the legal shut-down allowance may be paid if this is approved by the Labor Commission (Article 46 (1)). In order to guarantee the effectiveness of the shut-down compensation system, an employer who violates the provisions of shut-down compensation shall be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than three years or fined not more than KRW 30 million (Article 109).
Shut-down allowances are intended to guarantee workers' right to live by providing certain allowances when they are unable to work for reasons not attributable to them. On the other hand, if an employer is forced, for unavoidable reasons, to pay legal shut-down allowances until the business can no longer continue, this will cause excessive burden on the employer and will severely hinder operations, which may result in the insolvency of the company. This is why an exemption for shut-down compensation is stipulated.
 ‘Shut-down’ refers to a situation in which a worker is unable to provide work against his/her will despite being willing to provide the work under the employment contract.  Civil Act provisions relating to the shut-down of a business provide exemption of employer fault in case of a force majeure beyond the employer's responsibility.  However, if an employee fails to receive work due to the employer's fault, it is possible to claim the full amount of wages, and not just the shut-down allowance.  In cases like this, the Civil Act provisions have difficulty in proving the employer's intention or negligence, so the Labor Standards Act provides a shut-down allowance system to guarantee the minimum life standards of workers without relying on the Civil Act’s risk-bearing principle.

It's 7 pages, if you want the full article PM me and I will send it.