|▲ Construction workers adding insulation panels. (archive photo by Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today)|
The Supreme Court made a ruling that an independent subcontractor commonly called foreman in the construction industry who signed a contract with the main contractor to perform an insulation panel work shall be defined as a worker. If the cost estimates are based on the number of workers to perform the subcontract work, the nature of a worker in the definition can not be negated only by the fact that he was registered as an individual business owner and declared and paid the value added tax.
The first division of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Kim Seon-soo, adjudicated a lawsuit in favor of a 41-year-old construction subcontractor who filed against the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service which had disapproved his application for the medical care benefits.
The subcontractor leading a team of 5 to 8 workers made a contract with a construction company to perform the insulation panel work for the progress of 400 square meters a day with the use of 5 workers, upon which the unit cost of 3,000 won(US$2.68) per square meter was calculated.
On September 23, 2016, the subcontractor fell to the ground from the 2.7-meter high construction site with the skull fractures while he was working with other co-workers to add the insulation panels at the ceiling, due to the collapse of the sandwich structured panels. He has remained in a vegetative state ever since the accident.
Both the first trial court and the second trial court did not recognize the nature of a worker for the subcontractor, for the reasons that he can be regarded as an employer and the estimated costs for the contract work shall not be deemed as the wages.
reported by Kim Mi-young
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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