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Public Holidays Calendar

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South Korea 2022
Day Date Holiday Notes
Saturday Jan-1 New Years Day
Monday Jan-31 Korean Lunar New Year (Seollal)
Tuesday Feb-1 Korean Lunar New Year
Wednesday Feb-2 Korean Lunar New Year
Tuesday Mar-1 Independence Movement Day
Wednesday Mar-9 President Election Day
Sunday May-1 Labor Day
Thursday May-5 Children's Day
Sunday May-8 Buddhas Birthday
Wednesday Jun-1 Local Election Day
Monday Jun-6 Memorial Day
Monday Aug-15 Liberation Day
Friday Sep-9 Korean Thanksgiving Day
Saturday Sep-10 Korean Thanksgiving Day
Sunday Sep-11 Korean Thanksgiving Day
Monday Sep-12 Korean Thanksgiving Day
Monday Oct-3 National Foundation Day
Sunday Oct-9 Hangul Proclamation Day When this holiday falls on a Sunday the following Monday is given off in Lieu.
Monday Oct-10 Day in Lieu of Hangul Proclamation Day
Sunday Dec-25 Christmas Day
Countrypedia

South Korea
Payroll and Benefits Guide

Last updated: May 31, 2022
Currency
South Korean Won (KRW)
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Employer Taxes
16.43% - 34.93%

Papaya Offers Complete Payroll, PEO and Contractor Management Services For South Korea

Download PDF Version

Overview

Capital
Seoul
Currency
South Korean Won (KRW)
Date Format
yyyy/mm/dd
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December
Public holidays calendar

Contributions

Employer

Employer Payroll Contributions

4.50%

National Pension (taxable monthly income capped at 5,240,000.00 KRW)

3.924%

National Health Insurance (monthly contribution capped at 8,203,680.00 KRW)

1.05% - 1.65%

Employment Insurance (varies by industry) (increasing to 1.15% to 1.75% effective from 1st July 2022)

5.76%

Long term care insurance (monthly contribution capped at 345,600 KRW)

0.70%-18.60%

Worker Accident Compensation Insurance (rate is dependent on the type of business)

0.50%

Resident Tax

16.43% - 34.93% Total Employment Cost

Employee

Employee Payroll Contributions

4.50%

National Pension (taxable monthly income capped at 5,240,000.00 KRW)

3.9245%

National Health Insurance (monthly contribution capped at 7,047,900.00 KRW)

6.86% 

Long term care insurance (monthly contribution capped at 345,600 KRW)

0.80%

Employment Insurance (varies by industry) (increasing to 0.90% effective from 1st July 2022)

16.08%

Employee Income Tax

6.00%

up to 12 million KRW

15.00%

12 million to 46 million KRW

24.00%

46 million to 88 million KRW

35.00%

88 million to 150 million KRW

38.00%

150 million to 300 million KRW

40.00%

300 million to 500 million KRW

42.00%

500 million to 1 billion KRW

45.00%

1 billion and up KRW

Minimum Wage

General

The National Minimum Wage in South Korea is 9,160 KRW per hour. The minimum wage is applicable to all companies and employees regardless of residency status.

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle in South Korea is generally monthly, and payments are usually made on the last working day.

13th Salary

There is no legislation for 13th-month payments in South Korea.

Working Hours

General

Standard working hours within South Korea are 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, up to a maximum number of 52 working hours per week. 

Overtime

All hours exceeding the standard 40 hours are paid as overtime and are regulated by employment contract/collective agreements. In general, overtime is paid at 150.00% of the standard salary rate, increasing to 200.00% for night work (after 10 pm). There is a maximum total number of overtime hours per week of 12 hours. 

Working Week

Monday-Friday

Leave

Paid Time Off

Paid leave in South Korea is outlined in the employment contract as a minimum of 11 days paid leave a year, following completion of 1-year service, in addition to public holidays. This leave increases to 15 days paid leave when the employee is in the second and third years of service. From the third year and onwards, one additional day of paid leave is added to the entitlement upon completion of every two years of service up to a maximum of 25 days paid leave. 

Public Holidays

With effect from 1st January 2022, Private companies with between 5 and 29 employees must now provide a paid holiday for public holidays as well as substitute holidays (these were previously unpaid).

Sick Days

There are no statutory sick leave entitlements in South Korea. 

Maternity Leave

All female employees are eligible for maternity benefits, consisting of 90 days paid leave, increasing to 120 days for multiple/complicated births.  The maternity leave is generally taken 45 days before the due date and 45 days after.   

The maternity payment is made by a combination of social security/governmental payments and employer payments.  For larger companies in South Korea, the employer should pay the maternity pay at 100.00% of the regular salary rate for the first 60 days. After which, the social security/government will provide support allowance for the remaining 30 days (capped 2 million KRW per 30 days) and with the employer having the option to provide the sum of money for any difference to the employee’s regular salary rate.  For small companies, the social security/government supports the employer throughout the 90 days. 

Paternity Leave

The father is entitled to mandatory paid paternity leave of a total of 10 days, five paid by the employer and five days paid by the social security/government, from the date that the child is born up to 90 days. 

Parental Leave

Parents of children under the age of eight can request a period of full-time or part-time childcare leave of up to one year. A request for leave should be sent to the employer at least 30 days before the start of the leave period, with an allowance paid by the social security/government. 

Should one or both parents take their parental leave during the first year of their child’s birth, both parents will be paid 100% of their monthly income, rather than previously, only one parent received 100% while the other received a reduced payment of 80%.

Other Leave

For any Work-related injury, employees are entitled to receive three months of paid leave with 70.00% of the employee’s regular salary. 

Termination

Termination Process

The termination process is standard in South Korea and is usually based on two main reasons for termination. There is a requirement for the employer to prove a “justifiable reason to terminate” and that this reason is legally acceptable, as depicted within the Korean Labour Standards Act.  Also, when laying off an Employee in Korea, the employer must prove that an “urgent managerial necessity exists” before an employee is laid off. 

Notice Period

According to South Korean General labor law, there is no mandatory notice period unless stipulated by your employment contract /company manual. However, it is common practice to provide one month’s notice. 

Severance Pay

In South Korea, severance pay is mandatory if applicable, but the amount differs based on the length of service, one-month regular salary pay for every year of service completed. 

The employer must make this final payment within 14 days of the termination.

Probation Period

Probation periods in South Korea for permanent employees are generally between 1 and 3 months. It is rare for employers to terminate a contract once the probation/training has been completed since the company must pay unemployment.

VISA

VISA

Any foreigners coming to work in South Korea will need to be registered with the local immigration authorities within the first three months of their stay. The type of work permit and employment visa differs by the role in which the employee will be undertaking. To allow an employee to stay in South Korea for more than 90 days, the appropriate visa needs to be sought: 

  • E-1 Professor Visa is aimed at foreigners to deliver lectures or do research in their field; it is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. 
  • E-2 Foreign Language Instructor is aimed at foreigners who wish to teach a foreign language at a company/school/education infrastructure. It is valid for two years and can be renewed every two years. 
  • E-3 Research is aimed at foreigners that a public or private institution invites to research natural science or advanced technology; it is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. 
  • E-4 Technological Guidance is aimed at foreigners that a public or private institution invites to provide expertise in natural science or high technology; it is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. 
  • E-5 Special Profession is aimed at foreigners that are Architects, lawyers, physicians, accountants, and other internationally licensed professionals and hold Korean government permission to practice their field of expertise is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. 
  • E-6 Culture and Art are aimed at foreigners that participate in musical, artistic, and literary activities; it is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. 
  • E-7 Specially Designed Activities are aimed at foreigners invited to participate in activities designed by the Korean Ministry of Justice through a public or private organization. It is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. 
  • D-5 Long-Term New Coverage is aimed at reporters working for foreign media (broadcast, newspapers, magazines, etc.). The single-entry visa is valid for three months and can be renewed in one-year intervals. 
  • Alien Registration Card (ARC) Most people that are staying in South Korea for more than six months also need to obtain their Alien Registration Card (ARC). 

VAT

General

The standard rate of VAT in South Korea is 10.00% 

Version History

May 31, 2022
The National Minimum Wage in South Korea is now 9,160 KRW per hour. The minimum wage is applicable to all companies and employees regardless of residency status.
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.
The standard rate of VAT in South Korea is 10.00%
January 1, 2021
Employee income tax: Highest tax bracket raised to 49.5% (including 10% local residence tax) for earnings 1 billion and up.
An additional mandatory monthly employer contribution of 0.5% is applied towards ‘resident tax on employees income.
Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Questions & Answers

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Dylan S.
Dylan S.
1 year ago

Are employees able to request work flexibly? If so, for what?

Jessie A.
Jessie A.
1 year ago

Are any penalties paid for working weekends or public holidays?

Jessie A.
Jessie A.
1 year ago
Reply to  Erez Greenberg

Thank you Erez!

Nano
Nano
1 year ago

Why employer need to contribute 0.5% ‘resident tax on employees income.

Niyah K.
Niyah K.
11 months ago

Hi, can the final payment for severance be delayed or paid after 14 days?

Ali H
9 months ago

What happens if a public holiday falls on the weekend? Do they get a substitute or day off in lieu?

Emily Kuhnert
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  Ali H

Hi Ali, thank you for your question. Employees receive the following Monday off when a national holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday. This law applies to companies with 5 or more employees (employers with 5 or fewer employees are not required to give any paid leave).

Gilat
Gilat
8 months ago

At what age employees entitled to retire and what are they entitled to?

Emily Kuhnert
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  Gilat

Hi Gilat, the age of retirement is 60 in South Korea, however, it is very common for individuals to retire much earlier. That being said, pension only begins to kick in at the age of 60 and the amount will vary based on how many years the individual worked, how much money was earned, and how much was contributed towards pension.

Gilat
Gilat
8 months ago
Reply to  Emily Kuhnert

Thank you Emily for your replay.
If an employee has reached retirement age, does he usually receive also to a severance package?

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