South Korea is a country in east Asia that is made up of the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, and shares a border with North Korea. It is a highly developed country and has the 3rd-highest life expectancy in the world. South Korea’s citizens enjoy one of the world's fastest Internet connection speeds as well as the densest high-speed railway network, making it a great place for remote workers.
Pregnant employees are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave, generally taken as 45 days before the due date and 45 days after the birth. The leave is paid for partly by the employer and partly by social security.
Fathers are entitled to mandatory paid paternity leave of 10 days, 5 of which are paid by the employer and the other 5 days are paid by social security. Parents with children under the age of 8 can also request childcare leave of up to 1 year.
There is no sick leave entitlement in South Korea.
South Korea has 13 public holidays, and employees are also entitled to at least 11 days of paid time off each year (after completing 1 year at the company). As the employee’s length of service continues, the entitlement goes up to 15 days and then 25 days of leave.
The minimum wage in South Korea is KRW 9,620 per hour, and a standard workweek is 40 hours per week at 8 hours per day. Overtime work is paid at between 150%-200% of the salary, and the maximum allowed is 12 hours per week.
Employers can terminate an employment contract with just cause — a reason that is legally acceptable according to the Korean Labour Standards Act. When laying off an employee, the employer first has to prove that an “urgent managerial necessity” exists.
There is no mandatory notice period in South Korea unless it is stipulated in the employment contract. A standard notice period for termination is 30 days.
Severance pay is mandatory in certain cases, and the amount depends the length of employment at the company. An average severance payment is 1 month of salary for every year of work at the company.
★ 4.5% - National Pension
★ 3.54% - National Health Insurance
★ 1.15% - Employment Insurance
★ 0.45% - Long term care insurance
★ 1% - Worker Accident Compensation Insurance
★ 0.5% - Resident Tax
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Unlike full-time employees, contractors work on projects with multiple companies at a given time and are technically self-employed. Full-time employees are solely focused on their employer and usually receive benefits (such as health insurance, equity or stock options, and time off) as an additional form of compensation. While it can be cheaper to work with international contractors instead of paying benefits to a full-time employee, you run the risk of misclassification. It's recommended to work with an EOR for contractor onboarding and payments, so you can know that your international contractors are paid compliantly and on time.