Talent Wiki – South Korea

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in South Korea

Capital

Seoul

Currency

South Korean Won (KRW)

Languages

Korean (official)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

GDP per Capita

$34,806.95

Employer Tax

10.67% - 29.17%

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 top local universities in South Korea are as follows:

Seoul National University

RANKING

Local: 1

World : 322

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

RANKING

Local: 2

World : 510

Yonsei University

RANKING

Local: 3

World : 891

Korea University

RANKING

Local: 4

World : 1028

Sungkyunkwan University

RANKING

Local: 5

World : 1129

Salary Data

The average monthly salary data in South Korea is mentioned below

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (KRW) Average Monthly Salary (USD)
Accounting Manager 5,780,000 KRW 4,570 USD
Accountant 2,820,000 KRW 2,230 USD
Financial Manager 8,300,000 KRW 6,563 USD
Sales Manager 6,470,000 KRW 5,116 USD
Database Administrator 4,080,000 KRW 3,226 USD
Developer / Programmer 3,650,000 KRW 2,886 USD
Information Technology Manager 6,350,000 KRW 5,021 USD

 

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

Incruit, saramin, JobKorea

Number of LinkedIn users:

3,798,000

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 2024

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day Public Holiday
10 Feb Seollal Holiday Public Holiday
12 Feb Seollal Holiday Public Holiday
1 Mar Independence Movement Day National holiday
1 May Labor Day Bank Holiday
5 May Children’s Day Public Holiday
15 May Buddha’s Birthday Public Holiday
6 Jun Memorial Day Public Holiday
15 Aug Liberation Day National holiday
16 Sep Chuseok Holiday Public Holiday
17 Sep Chuseok Public Holiday
18 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

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle is monthly in South Korea.

Minimum Wage

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

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.

Bonus

13th Month Pay

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

Employee Benefits

  • Pension
  • Health Insurance
  • Accident Compensation
  • Leaves

Taxes

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) 3.924%
Employment Insurance 1.15% – 1.75%
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) 3.924%
Employment Insurance 0.9%

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%

VAT

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

Offboarding & Termination

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.

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

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.

Streamline payroll and compliance for your international workforce

Payroll

Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Visa & Immigration