Use EOR to hire compliantly in South Korea

Looking to hire and employ workers in South Korea? Choose an Employer of Record (EOR) to carry out all tasks, from onboarding to exit, efficiently and without any hassles.

No more than US $600/employee/month

Leading enterprises across all industries rely on us

Employment & hiring statistics in South Korea

KRW ₩

Salary payment currency

English/Korean

Contract language

40

Working hours per week

₩ 9,860

Min. hourly salary

17.25% - 35.75%

Employer cost

16

Bank holidays per year

1st Jan - 31st Dec

Tax cycle

6%-45%

Employee tax

Hire effortlessly in South Korea with EOR

Costs no more than US $600/employee/month

What you need to know before hiring in
South Korea

Contracts & Agreements

Compensation & Benefits

Taxes & Costs

Termination & Severance

Contracts & Agreements

Employment contracts in South Korea always have to be in writing and include mandatory elements like wages, working hours, weekly paid days off, paid annual leave and notice periods. These contracts can be drafted in Korean or English. The different kinds of contracts are:

Indefinite Contract

Indefinite contracts, also referred to as ‘open-ended’, ‘unlimited’ or ‘permanent’ contracts, are the standard employment contracts offered in professional settings in South Korea. With indefinite contracts, employees enjoy guaranteed wages and benefits, while employers enjoy a stable workforce.

Fixed Contract

Fixed contracts, also known as ‘limited’ or ‘temporary’ contracts, are only valid for a specified period, generally no more than 2 years. When an employee has been employed on a fixed contract for more than two years, that employee will usually be automatically considered to be employed for an indefinite term.
With An EOR solution, your employees sign a legal contract with the Employer Of Record while they share a normal working relationship with you.

Visa

The Immigration Office under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice is responsible for processing and issuing various types of visas, including work visas, to foreign nationals. The general requirements for most applications include a valid passport, a criminal record check, job offer, an application form, and payment of a visa application fee. Some of the different work visas are:

E5 Visa

Professionals who are certified abroad in the fields of law, accounting, medicine, or other areas approved by Korean law can work in such areas within Korean regulations with an E5 visa. The visa allows multiple entries, lasts for one year and is renewable.

C4 Visa

Individuals intending to engage in short term employment activities for profit such as temporary entertainment, advertising and fashion activities, lectures research, technical guidance, and service provision can do so with a C4 visa. A person can apply for a single-entry visa (valid for 3 months with the maximum duration for stay 90 days), double-entry visa (valid for 6 months with the maximum duration of stay for 90 days), or a multiple entry visa (valid for 1-year, 3-year, 5-year with the maximum duration of stay for 90 days).
With multiple categories of visas and strict requirements, the process of applying for and obtaining Korea work visas can be difficult. To learn which visa your employee needs before beginning work in Korea, please contact one of our experts .

Compensation & Benefits

Minimum Pay

As of 2024, the minimum wage in South Korea is 9,860 won per hour. South Korea has guaranteed its workers a minimum wage through the Minimum Wage Act as well as through the Constitution.

Payout Cycle

In South Korea, the payroll cycle is monthly and payments are usually made on the last day of the month.

Working Hours

The standard workweek in South Korea is of 40 hours. A 1-hour break is provided for every 8 hours worked. Overtime pay is typically 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for employees who work over 40 hours per week.

Guaranteed Benefits

Ask us for a Salary Benchmark for your EOR worker.

Find out how Employer of Record (EOR) can help you make your first hire in South Korea

Taxes & Costs

Tax for Employees

Income tax is applied to an employee’s salary, according to the following structure:
Taxable income band (KRW) National income tax rate
Up to 14 million KRW
6.00%
14 million - 50 million KRW
15.00%
50 million - 88 million KRW
24.00%
88 million - 150 million KRW
35.00%
150 million - 300 million KRW
38.00%
300 million - 500 million KRW
40.00%
500 million - 1 billion KRW
42.00%
Over 1 billion KRW
45.00%

Employer Cost

Employers in South Korea have to make multiple contributions into various funds for employees:
Fund Contributions
National Pension
4.5%
National Health Insurance
3.545%
Employment Insurance
1.15% - 1.75%
Long Term Care Insurance
0.455%
Worker Accident Compensation Insurance
0.7% - 18.60%
Resident Tax
0.5%
Disable Levy
6.4%
Ask us for a Gross to Net simulation or a Total Employment Cost calculation for your EOR worker.

Leaves

Every employee working in South Korea is provided different types of leaves throughout the year. These include:

Annual Leave

Employees in South Korea are entitled to at least 11 days of paid annual leave per year. This increases with years of service, up to a maximum of 25 days per year.

Sick Leave

There are no statutory sick leave entitlements in South Korea. However, sick leave can be given as a discretionary benefit. If employees are not eligible then it is common to use their annual leave as sick days. For any work-related injury, employees are entitled to three months of paid leave, where 70% of the employee's regular salary is paid during this period.

Parental Leave

South Korea has a 90-day maternity leave period, which increases to 120 days for multiple/complicated births. Maternity leave is paid by social security and the employer combined, and can be taken 45 days before the due date and 45 days after.
Fathers are entitled to 10 days of mandatory paid paternity leave, with five days paid by the employer and five days by the social security/government.
In addition to these leaves, employees are also granted 16 public holidays. For a full list of leaves and public holidays that your new hire in South Korea is entitled to, talk to one of our experts .

Termination & Severance

Termination

To terminate an employee in South Korea, there must be a valid legal reason recognised under the Korean Labour Standards Act. Reasons can include, but not limited to:

Severance Pay

In South Korea, severance pay is covered by the Guarantee of Workers’ Retirement Benefits Act (GWRBA). Full-time employees are entitled to severance pay that is equal to 30 days average salary, for each year of company service. In order to qualify for severance pay, an employee must have at least one year of company service and work at least 15 hours per week, or 60 hours per month. Severance pay must be paid within two weeks of an employee’s termination.

Ready to expand your business across multiple countries in the APAC region?​

Why choose an Employer Of Record (EOR)
in South Korea?

An Employer Of Record (EOR) solution is relevant for multiple use cases:

Why trust BGC as your Employer Of Record (EOR)?

Industry Expertise

Since 2005, BGC has an extensive experience and proven track record of earning the trust of numerous clients.

Technology Leverage

Streamline operations with advanced technology which result in quicker time to onboard and pay.

Cost-effective pricing

Transparent and affordable monthly pricing that allows you to scale your workforce without any hassles.

Talk to us and make hiring in APAC a breeze!

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Jarrod Reidy

Director - HR Outsourcing (APAC)