Living in Korea
Korean Conversation
Adaptation to Korea
Rural Living Support
Support for foreigners residing in Korea
Medical Support
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Child education
Social Security System
Employment and Job Information
Employment and Labor
New Job Center for Women
Cultural Exchange
Taste vs Taste
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Multicultural Family Support Center
About the Multicultural Family Support Center
Counseling Center
Danuri Helpline 1577-1366
International Marriage Scam Prevention 02-333-1311
Online Counseling
구글번역 닫기

서브 콘텐츠 시작

현재 페이지 위치

  • Employment and Job Information
  • Employment and Labor
  • Major Issues Related to Labor

Major Issues Related to Labor

The companies with 10 or more full-time employees should allow employees to read work regulations freely. The work regulations include their own policies and regulations regarding working hours, designated breaks, safety, and sanitation. It is the employee’sresponsibility to learn about these policies when looking for a job.

Social Insurance

  • When married immigrant women with Korean nationality gain employment, they are automatically signed up for social insurance programs (national pension, health insurance, employment insurance).
  • Married immigrant women without Korean nationality may choose whether or not they wish to apply for social insurance, but are generally encouraged to do so.
  • Insurance fees are deducted from the worker's salary and transferred to the Korean Institute for Social Insurance.

Overview of the Labor Standards Law

The Labor Standards Law was enacted to guarantee and improve the basic livelihood of workers and to promote the balanced development of the national economy by setting the standards for labor terms.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are signed agreements addressing important items such as wages earned, working time, rest, day-off, vacations, etc.; the contents of the contract must be made in a written form between parties concerned.

Protection of Employees in Accordance with the Labor Standards Law

  • Applicable to all companies or businesses that regularly employ five or more workers
  • Partially applicable to businesses or companies that regularly employ four or fewer workers
  • Salaries are to be paid directly on the date agreed upon, in full and in cash
  • Salaries must be paid on time and at least once a month
  • Additional salary may be paid to employees who work overtime, at night, or on holidays (See law on employment retirement benefit security)
  • Employees can report violations of the Labor Standards Act (such as failure to receive wages or retirement benefits physical assault by employers or managers, forced overtime without the employee's consent, etc.) to the regional employment and labor administration and the labor improvement promotion department. (Customer counseling center ☎1350, 1544-1350)

Delays in Salary Payments

  • Delayed payment of wage means a business owner does not pay wage on the designated date, and in this case, an employee can make a report to the competent local labor office.
  • When a related case is accepted by the local labor office, officials investigate the employee and the employer. The employee can deal with the case more rapidly by preparing various materials (wage account, wage receipt, employment contract) to prove his or her argument.
  • Procedure
    1. 1. Counseling and submission of statements (Civil Service Center of local offices of education)
    2. 2. Demand for attendance of the stakeholders (Labor Supervisory Officer)
    3. 3. Due diligence
    4. 4. Order for corrective actions given to employer after due diligence
    5. 5. If employers refuse to rectify the situation, the case may be sent to the court for prosecution

Salary Compensation System

Employees who are unable to receive wages or retirement benefits after retirement due to the bankruptcy of the employer are guaranteed the following.

  • Salary for the final three months of work: Salary for the final three months of work, from the planned retirement date or the date of actual retirement
  • Benefits for leave for the final three months of work: Benefits for leave for the final three months of work, from the planned retirement date or the date of actual retirement
  • Retirement benefits for the last three years of work: Legal retirement benefits for three years retroactive from the date of retirement (regular wages for 90 days)


Under the Labor Standards Act, for a lay-off by the employer to be valid, there should be a justifiable reason; without it, the employer cannot lay off the employee. An employee who has been dismissed without a justifiable reason can apply to the competent local labor committee for intervention, and if it is determined to be an unfair lay-off, he/she can go back to work. The application must be made within 3 months after the date of lay-off.

Labor Standards

Working Hours

For businesses with more than 5 workers regulated by the Labor Standards Act, standard working hours per week cannot exceed 40 hours excluding break time, and working hours per day cannot exceed 8 hours excluding break time.


  • A thirty-minute break is given for every 4 hours of work, and a 1 hour break is given for every 8 hours of work.
  • Employees are free to use their breaks as they wish, but will be unpaid during the break period.

Overtime, Night Work, and Holiday Work

  • Extended working hours is defined as working more than 40 hours per week, or 8 hours per day.
  • Night work refers to work that takes place between 22:00 and 06:00.
  • Holiday work refers to work that takes place on national and contractual holidays.
  • Pay for overtime, night work, and holiday work is set at time and a half (1.5 times regular pay).
  • Extended work hours are allowed up to 12 hours per week if both parties agree.


  • Companies that require production facilities to be run 24 hours a day divide their employees into two orthree teams to work in shifts.
  • Some factories make arrangements whereby their employees rotate day and night shifts on a weekly basis.
  • Others group their employees into shifts on a permanent basis.


Minimum Wage

  • The minimum amount of money that the government requires employers to pay to employees.
  • All businesses must comply with the laws of minimum wage. As of 2018, the minimum wage is KRW 7,530 per hour and KRW 60,240 a day.

Payment System

  • Salary contracts can be based on hourly, weekly, monthly, or yearly pay.
  • Generally, employees working in the manufacturing industry are paid on a monthly basis, while those working in the construction industry are paid on a daily basis. Employees with hourly working contracts have their pay calculated by the hour, but most employees are paid on a monthly basis.
  • It is important to keep a record of your working hours and check that you are receiving the correct amount of money from your employer. Some companies keep time cards in order to maintain accurate time records.

Severance Pay

  • Only employees working in accordance with the Labor Standards Act will qualify for severance pay.
  • There is no severance pay granted to employees who work less than 15 hours per week.
  • If employees work in the same business for one year or more, they may receive severance pay. (Workers serving at a business with four or less full-time employees must receive at least 50% of the legally designated severance pay as of December 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, and at least the full amount of the legally designated severance pay from January 1, 2013.