Facts & Stats
- Capital City
South Korean won (₩, KRW)
- Population size
- Ease of doing business
- Cost of living index
- Payroll frequency
- VAT - standard rate
- GDP - real growth rate
South Korea is one of Asia’s most technologically advanced nations with the modern metropolis of Seoul anchoring a strong culture of innovation and excellence. Employers looking for talent in the manufacturing, professional services, and tech sectors will find a haven of qualified South Koreans.
Many of the country's workers have experience working with large multinational companies and after the pandemic, flexible working and work from home business models have been rapidly normalized. Traditionally, South Korean business culture rewarded long hours in the office. A combination of younger people entering the workforce and the success of the post-pandemic work from home transition has led to a greater focus on life-work balance.
As the world’s tenth largest economy, South Korea enjoys the 7th highest human development index in Asia, an advanced democracy with extensive press freedoms, the world’s fastest internet speeds, delicious and unique cuisine, and of course, a vibrant entertainment industry that has given us the exceptional delights of K-Pop.
Grow your team in South Korea with Remote
Looking to employ workers in South Korea? Companies hiring in South Korea must either own a legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solutions provider, usually one that provides employer of record services.
Remote can employ your team in South Korea on your behalf through our local legal entity in the country and handle payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance for your South Korean team. You can also pay contractors now in South Korea with Remote in some currencies (talk to an expert now for full details).
Risks of misclassification
South Korea, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in South Korea may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.
Employing in South Korea
South Korea’s Labor Standards Act of 2005 spells out provisions for employee protections and workers’ rights for its workforce of 28.3 million. Employees in South Korea enjoy protections against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and race.
Common questions that could come up during the hiring process include minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in South Korea.
In South Korea, the minimum wage is reviewed annually and for 2024 is fixed at ₩9,869 per day or ₩2,060,740 per month.
Wages are paid out on a monthly basis, either on the 25th or the last day of the month.
We can help you get a new employee started in South Korea fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 12 working days.
Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.
For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.
Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.
17 Public holidays
Competitive benefits package in South Korea
Remote supports our clients by offering competitive benefits packages that will help you attract and retain the best talent across the globe! Our benefits specialists have done the research on norms and requirements in each local market and have crafted packages that will allow your employees to thrive, no matter what country they live in.
Our benefits packages in South Korea are tailored to fulfil the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:
Mental Health Support
Pension or 401(K)
Life and Disability Insurance
Taxes in South Korea
Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in South Korea.
National pension contribution
National Health Insurance contribution
1.05% - 1.65%
0.70% to 1.90% - Worker Accident Compensation Insurance
Types of leave
Employees who have worked eighty percent (80%) or more of one work year (twelve months) from the commencement of work. Employees who have worked for a month (every thirty (30) days from the commencement of work) but who have continuously worked for less than one year or who has worked less than 80% of one year.
Employee contracts can only be terminated if a just cause is established, such as dishonesty, negligence, fraud, or any other work-related offences, otherwise, prior notice must be provided before terminating an employee.
Employers are required to provide at least 30 days’ prior notice before terminating an employee, except if the employee is contracted to work for less than three months or has committed an intentional offence that sets back the employing organization significantly.
Employees who have worked for at least an entire year are entitled to a severance package equivalent to a month’s wages for every year of continuous employment with the employer.
The Labor Standards Act of Korea does not have an explicit regulation on probation periods. However, the law does state that notice of termination is not required for “Employees under probationary period (of 3 months or less)”, so it is usually until 3 months.