Caregiving Services Face Shortage of Foreign Workers

  • By Choi Yeon-jin

    July 15, 2022 09:15

    Caregiving services are suffering from a shortage of workers after foreign carers left Korea in droves during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Nursing homes and staffing businesses that supply them are faced with customers complaining about long waiting periods because they lack the personnel.

    One staffer at a caregiving services said, "Over the lunar New Year holiday we couldn't find any workers even though we doubled the salary, and it looks like we will face the same situation this Chuseok."

    Foreign laborers are essential to caregiving services because they are cheaper than Korean workers. Caregivers are paid less than W12,000 an hour for their often grueling work (US$1=W1,312). Although that is higher than the minimum wage, it is still less than what Koreans would ask.

    As a result, the government is facing mounting calls to revamp visa regulations to make it easier to hire more foreign workers. At present, around half of the foreign workers in Korea are on H2 visas, which require employers to hire them directly from home. That makes difficult for small staffing companies find foreign workers because they cannot afford to advertise abroad.

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