The takeover committee “I will loosen the regulations holding back companies” Punishment of the Serious Accidents Act… Discussion on easing ‘penalty → fine’

It is known that the Presidential Transition Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Transition Committee) is considering easing major regulations that may stifle corporate activities. A representative example is the Severe Accident Punishment Act (Serious Accidents Act), which has caused confusion in the business world since its enforcement in January. President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol has consistently advocated for easing corporate regulations since his days as a presidential candidate.

Ahead of the final announcement of the government task in May, the transition committee has set a market-friendly regulatory system based on autonomy as its main goal. In particular, the Serious Accidents Act, which came into effect at the end of January, was designated as a representative regulation, and the government is seeking ways to change the punishment for corporate CEOs who violate the law from prison sentences to fines. The current Serious Accidents Act stipulates that if one or more workers dies due to a serious industrial accident at the workplace, the person in charge of management who neglects to take safety measures shall be punished by imprisonment for at least one year or by a fine of not more than 1 billion won.

The transition committee also decided to define more clearly the safety obligations of business managers under the Major Disaster Act. The Enforcement Decree of the Serious Disaster Act requires management managers to have ‘necessary’ safety and health personnel, facilities, and equipment, because many pointed out that there is confusion about what ‘necessary measures’ are here. Clarifying such ambiguity has the effect of easing punishment because there is a possibility that if a company has taken the appropriate action, it can receive immunity even in the event of an accident.

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