Working in South Korea
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Updated 2 years ago

During recent decades, South Korea has become a world economic power in its own right due to its numerous technical and technological innovations, its dynamic businesses, its industries, automotive and electronics, among others. The country has performed relatively well through the economic crisis with one of the lowest unemployment rate in OECD countries, that is less than 3% of the entire workforce.

South Korean authorities now tend to limit the number of foreign workers on its territory. However, foreigners with special talents and skills which are needed in the country are welcome and some sectors such as tourism, education, industry and services keep offering professional opportunities.

Labour laws in South Korea

The legal working time is scheduled at 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. Specific permissions allow to exceed these limits in certain fields such as finance, services, etc.

Korean employees are granted with 10 days paid leaves per year. Additional days off are sometimes awarded based on seniority within a company. A maximum of 20 days leave cannot be exceeded and the excess is paid as premium.

The minimum wage in South Korea was officially established at 3,770 won per hour and 30,160 won per day. The average gross wage in South Korea is around 3,551 won (US$ 2,800).

Employment contract

The employment contract in South Korea is a crucial part of your job, mentioning wages, hours of work and your status, whether permanent, part time, and so on.

Employment contracts are regarded as valid legal documents. You have to follow the conditions strictly. However, Korean employers are open to negotiations. Note that a verbal agreement is as important as a written contract in South Korea.

Useful link:

Ministry of Employment and Labor of South Korea

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