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J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 44(1); 2011 > Article
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2011;44(1): 14-21. doi: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2011.44.1.14
Changes in Labor Regulations During Economic Crises: Does Deregulation Favor Health and Safety?.
Won Gi Jhang
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea. wgjhang@yahoo.com
OBJECTIVES: The regulatory changes in Korea during the national economic crisis 10 years ago and in the current global recession were analyzed to understand the characteristics of deregulation in labor policies. METHODS: Data for this study were derived from the Korean government's official database for administrative regulations and a government document reporting deregulation. RESULTS: A great deal of business-friendly deregulation took place during both economic crises. Occupational health and safety were the main targets of deregulation in both periods, and the regulation of employment promotion and vocational training was preserved relatively intact. The sector having to do with working conditions and the on-site welfare of workers was also deregulated greatly during the former economic crisis, but not in the current global recession. CONCLUSIONS: Among the three main areas of labor policy, occupational health and safety was most vulnerable to the deregulation in economic crisis of Korea. A probable reason for this is that the impact of deregulation on the health and safety of workers would not be immediately disclosed after the policy change.
Key words: Economic crisis; Labor regulation; Occupational health and safety; Regulatory change
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