Payroll Cycle
Minumum Wage
Overtime Pay
Visa Immigration

Talent Wiki - South Korea

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in South Korea
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South Korean Won (KRW)
Korean (official)
Payroll Frequency
GDP per Capita
Employer Tax
10.67% - 29.17%

Supplementary Guide for Employment and Expansion in South Korea

Talent Overview

South Korea holds the 4th position for the largest economy in Asia, followed by the 10th position for the largest economy in the world. The country's nominal GDP is expected to amount to $1.82 trillion and $1.91 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund. The service sector and Industrialization are the major contributors to economic development.

Major Economic Hubs:

Gyeonggi, Seoul, Chungnam

Skills in Demand:

English content development, Sales and Marketing, Programmers and Developers

Local Universities

The table below mentions top universities with world rank in South Korea:

Seoul National University


South Korea : 1

World : 228

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)


South Korea : 2

World : 461

Sogang University


South Korea : 3

World : 547

Pusan National University


South Korea : 4

World : 631

Korea University


South Korea : 5

World : 642

Salary Data

The average salary data in South Korea is mentioned below:

Job Title Salary Range (KRW) Salary Range (USD)
Finance Manager 4,020,000 - 13,500,000 3,384.58 - 11,366.12
Back-End Developer 2,890,000 - 4,920,000 2,433.19 - 4,142.32
Product Owner 2,840,000 - 8,350,000 2,391.10 - 7,030.16
Retail Sales Manager 2,540,000 - 8,100,000 2,138.52 - 6,819.67
Data Scientist 1,820,000 - 5,810,000 1,532.32 - 4,891.64
UI/UX Designer 1,790,000 - 5,260,000 1,507.06 - 4,428.58
Front-End Developer 1,630,000 - 5,200,000 1,372.35 - 4,378.06

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards

Incruit, saramin, JobKorea

Number of LinkedIn Users


Top Recruitment Agencies

Robert Walters, Energy resourcing, Reed

Employing in South Korea

While onboarding any individual from South Korea, the employer must know about the Labor laws, employment terms, deductions, and benefits. This section has all the necessary information that employers can use.

Employee Contract

In South Korea, there are terms and conditions for the employment contract. The contract should mention all the necessary conditions with leaves, working hours, benefits, and allowances to be provided to the employee. Employee contracts must be written in the Korean official language.

Probation period

Newly hired employees in South Korea are expected to undergo a probationary period of up to 30 days.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year's Day Public Holiday
31 Jan Seollal Holiday Public Holiday
1 Feb Seollal Public Holiday
2 Feb Seollal Holiday Public Holiday
1 Mar Independence Movement Day National holiday
9 Mar Presidential Election Public Holiday
1 May Labor Day Bank Holiday
5 May Children's Day Public Holiday
8 May Buddha's Birthday Public Holiday
1 Jun Local Election Day Public Holiday
6 Jun Memorial Day Public Holiday
15 Aug Liberation Day National holiday
9 Sep Chuseok Holiday Public Holiday
10 Sep Chuseok Public Holiday
11 Sep Chuseok Holiday Public Holiday
3 Oct National Foundation Day National holiday
9 Oct Hangeul Proclamation Day National holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day Public Holiday

Employee Leaves

Type of Leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual/Earned Leave 11 days Yes
Maternity Leave 16 weeks Yes

Sick leaves in South Korea will depend on the contract between the employer and the employee.


Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle is monthly in South Korea.

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Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in South Korea is set at 9,160 won per hour.

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Overtime pay

Working after 10 pm is paid 200% of the hourly salary, and each additional working hour beyond 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day is paid 150% of the hourly salary. The maximum weekly overtime is 12 hours.

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Health Examination Clause


13th Month Pay

A 13th-month pay is not mandatory in South Korea.

Employee Benefits

  • ~Pension
  • ~Health Insurance
  • ~Accident Compensation
  • ~Leaves
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Employer Payroll Tax

Category Contributions
National Pension (taxable monthly income at 5,240,000.00 KRW) 4.5%
National Health Insurance (monthly contribution at 8,203,680 KRW) 3.92%
Employment Insurance 1.05% - 1.65%
Worker Accident Compensation Insurance 0.7%-18.6%
Resident Tax 0.5%

Employee Payroll Tax

Category Contributions
National Pension (taxable monthly income at 5,240,000.00 KRW) 4.5% (maximum monthly contribution capped at KRW 235,800)
National Health Insurance (monthly contribution at 8,203,680 KRW) 3.92%
Employment Insurance 0.8%

Employee Income Tax

Annual Taxable Income (KRW thousands) Tax Rate
0 to 12,000 KRW 6%
12,000 to 46,000 KRW 15%
46,000 to 88,000 KRW 24%
88,000 to 150,000 KRW 35%
150,000 to 300,000 KRW 38%
300,000 to 500,000 KRW 40%
500,000 to 1,000,000 KRW 42%
Above 1,000,000 KRW 45%


The standard rate of VAT is 10% in South Korea.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

The termination notice should be in writing and include the reasons for the termination.

Employment rules must provide for a particular process for dismissal (e.g., a disciplinary committee hearing). If not followed, the termination may be invalid.

Notice Period

South Korean regular and probationary employees are given up to 30 days of notice period.

Severance Pay

Only full-time employees are eligible for severance pay. The employee is provided with severance pay equal to 1 month’s salary if the service of the individual is more than 1 year.

Additionally, the employer can choose to set up a retirement plan based on mutual consent.

Visa and Immigration

There are three categories of work visas that foreign employees can apply for when choosing to work in South Korea: 

  • ~Professional Visa, 
  • ~Non-Professional Visa,  
  • ~Business Visa

Under these categories are more types of visa that specifies the industry and purpose of a foreign employee in the country. To legally work in South Korea, employees must apply for a suitable type of visa. 

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