Tomorrow (16th) will be three years since the 'Workplace Harassment Prohibition Act' came into effect.

In a recent survey of 1,000 office workers, nearly 300 said they had experienced bullying, and about 13% of them work in workplaces with fewer than five employees, to which the law does not apply.

It's a situation where you can't get help even if you're being bullied, but reporter Park Chan-beom covered the situation and countermeasures.


This is an online counseling room operated by the civic group 'Work Gapjil 119'.

If anonymous office workers have suffered harassment and ask questions, experts such as labor attorneys provide free consultations.

It is important to check the number of employees in your workplace.

[Min Hyeon-gi/Certified Labor Attorney: (If) it is a workplace with fewer than 5 employees, there is a possibility that even if the (jurisdictional) Employment and Labor Office has filed a complaint, there is a possibility that it will not be accepted.

] The Labor Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor is not obligated to investigate any reports of harassment.

[Park Jeom-gyu / Workplace Gapjil 119 Steering Committee: I think the most serious problem is that the number of workers is not guaranteed because the number of employees is small or because the employment contract is not written.

] I had been harassed by my boss at work and decided to report it, but I recently got frustrated.

One of his co-workers left the company, reducing the number of employees to four.

[Mr. A/Barista (working at a workplace with less than 5 people): Only 5 people go back and forth at the border.

There are now 4 people, and you can report it to the Ministry of Labor, if there were more than 5 people.

(If you report it) You are in a situation where you can't do it right now when the person says that you will be released.]

The small number of employees does not mean that the intensity of harassment is low.

Rather, it is argued that the opposite is true.

In workplaces with fewer than five employees, the bully is most likely the employer, the boss.

[Min Hyun-ki / Certified Labor Attorney: I think it is more of a problem in that direct workplace harassment by the boss or by the boss' immediate family occurs.]

To solve the problem, you can legally amend the Enforcement Decree of the Labor Standards Act.

[Min Hyeon-gi / Certified Labor Attorney: What regulations of the Labor Standards Act are applied to workplaces with fewer than 5 employees are stipulated in an attached table of the Presidential Decree.

Because if the president wants to, he can change it even tomorrow through a resolution of the cabinet meeting...


The National Human Rights Commission of Korea also recommended that workplaces with fewer than 5 employees be included in the workplace harassment law in July 2020.

(Video coverage: Kang Dong-cheol, video editing: Jeon Min-gyu, CG: Choi Ha-neul·Lee Jun-ho)