Geumcheon district in the Republic of Korea and Laos’ Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in relation to the dispatch of Lao nationals for seasonal employment in agriculture and fishery in Korea.
The MOU entered into force on the date of signature and will be valid until Dec 31, 2023. Unless either party exercises an option to terminate the contract, it shall be renewed every year.
The agreement on the Seasonal Worker Programme for Lao nationals in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, was signed on Friday by the Director General of the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms Anousone Khamsingsavath, and the Mayor of Gimcheon, Mr Kim il konr in the presence of senior officials from the ministry and Korean nationals in Laos and Gimcheon.
Under the agreement, Korea will advise the Agricultural Association Corporation, Agricultural Corporation, and employers in the agriculture sector on current Covid OVID-19 prevention and control measures.
Employers in agriculture shall be registered as a person who owns and runs a farm and grows crops.
Laos’ Department of Employment will establish a channel to communicate with seasonal workers and support Gimcheon.
In the event of an illegal stay, local government officials shall be dispatched to support Gimcheon and the Department of Employment shall request the applicable family members of Lao nationals remaining in Korea illegally to persuade them to return home.
The department shall guarantee the departure of all seasonal workers shortly after the contract termination in order to prevent illegal stays that could damage Korean agriculture. If the employee fails to do so, the employer’s damage can be compensated for through the established collateral, according to the agreement.
Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, Anousone said the cooperation between the Department of Employment and Gimcheon in sending Lao nationals to work seasonally in Gimcheon was an important step and would create benefits for both parties. She said it was important for Lao workers to be able to develop their skills and earn money for themselves and their families.
At the same time, farmers and ranchers in Gimcheon will be provided with labour for agricultural production. “On behalf of the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, I thank you for your cooperation with Gimcheon this time and promise to educate Lao workers about the need to be disciplined in their work and strictly follow the rules of Gimcheon and the Republic of Korea,” Anousone said.