SEOUL, July 18 (UPI) — The South Korean government will revise a labor law to define workplace bullying and introduce anti-bullying measures to discourage cultures of bullying and abuse at work.
The prime minister’s office revealed a government-wide campaign for workplace bullying Tuesday in response to recent reports of harassment from service industries.
The government will mandate employers to look into workplace bullying when reported, come up with ways to punish those responsible and protect victims from emotional and physical damage.
The country has seen various reports of workplace abuses recently.
Junior nurses revealed a long-running culture of abuse by senior nurses taking advantage of their hierarchy. Graduate students reported abuse by their academic supervisors in research labs. Humiliation and physical abuse have been rampant among sports athletes, as well.
According to a survey conducted by a state vocational research institute in 2016, workplace bullying in South Korea is twice as frequent than countries in the European Union. More than 85 percent of respondents expressed a need for binding laws to prevent bullying and abuse at work.
The report added that workplace bullying contributed to increasing suicide rates among adults, which causes an approximate social cost of $ 41 billion (4.7 trillion won) per year.