South Korea to Enforce Ban on Drug Addicts and Sexual Offenders in Social Service Jobs from 2025

Seoul, South Korea - In a significant policy shift, South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on Tuesday that individuals with histories of drug addiction or sexual offenses will be prohibited from employment in the social service sector starting January 3, 2025. This move is aimed at enhancing the safety and integrity of social services provided across the country.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the revised law stipulates that individuals who have not completed their sentences for drug addiction or sexual assault offenses will be barred from engaging in social service work from the specified date. The legislation also grants employers the authority to review the criminal records of job applicants in this sector. The ban will particularly affect those under court-ordered guardianship due to physical or mental challenges, and it applies exclusively to new hires made after the implementation of the updated law.

A ministry official emphasized that the regulation is designed to limit occupational freedom in certain sectors, particularly those involving domiciliary services. This includes roles that require workers to visit service users' homes, heightening the need for stringent safety measures to protect service recipients.

Additionally, the revised bill includes provisions for revoking the licenses of service providers who, whether intentionally or accidentally, cause harm to their clients during the caregiving process.

This legislative update, set to take effect from January 3 next year, follows a year-long period since its proclamation, allowing for adequate transition and compliance within the social service sector.

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