Payment period of jobless benefits to be raised to up to nine months

SEOUL-- The maximum duration of unemployment allowances will be extended by one month to nine months next month, the employment and labor ministry said Monday.

The extension is part of new regulations contained in the amended employment insurance law that will come into effect Tuesday.

According to the revised law, the payable duration of unemployment allowances will be increased from the current 90-240 days to 120-270 days.

Among jobless persons with a history of prior employment insurance of more than a decade, those aged under 50 will be able to get unemployment payouts for up to 240 days, and those aged 50 or older for up to 270 days.

The level of jobless benefits will be also raised from the current 50 percent of the average of a jobless person's last three months' income to 60 percent.

But the lower limit of such benefits will be lowered from 90 percent of the minimum wage, which currently stands at 8,350 won (US$6.97), to 80 percent given the increased payments and their duration.

To fund the increases, the ratio of employment insurance to salary will be increased from the current 1.3 percent to 1.6 percent. Employment insurance is evenly shared by employees and their employers.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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