Remote’s guide to employing in

South Korea
south-korea flag

Make employment in South Korea easy. Let us handle payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and even stock options for your team in South Korea, all in one easy-to-use platform.

  • Capital City

    Seoul

  • Currency

    South Korean won (₩, KRW)

  • Languages

    Korean

  • Population size

    51,709,098

Services available in this country:
Employer of Record ProductContractor Management

Facts & Stats

South Korea Map Illustration
  • Capital City

    Seoul

  • Currency

    South Korean won (₩, KRW)

  • Languages

    Korean

  • Population size

    51,709,098

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    81.20 (2021)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    10%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    2.0 (2019)

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 normalised. 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 Labour 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.

Minimum Wage

In South Korea, the minimum wage is reviewed annually and for 2024 is fixed at ₩9,860 per hour or ₩2,060,740 per month.

Payroll Cycle

Wages are paid out on a monthly basis, either on the 25th or the last day of the month.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in South Korea fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 9 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

Jan
Monday 1 January 20241New Year's Day (설날)
Feb
Friday 9 February 20242Korean New Year's Eve (새해 전야)
Saturday 10 February 20243Korean New Year's Day (한국의 설날)
Sunday 11 February 20244Second Day of the Korean New Year (한국의 설날)
Monday 12 February 20245Second Day of the Korean New Year (한국의 설날) (observed)
Mar
Friday 1 March 20246Independence Movement Day (독립 운동의 날)
Apr
Wednesday 10 April 2024722nd National Assembly Election Day (제22대 국회의원 선거일)
May
Monday 6 May 20248Children's Day (어린이 날) (observed)
Wednesday 15 May 20249Buddha's Birthday (부처님의 생일)
June
Thursday 6 June 202410Memorial Day (기념일)
Aug
Thursday 15 August 202411Liberation Day (광복절)
Sept
Monday 16 September 202412Chuseok Eve (추석 이브)
Tuesday 17 September 202413Chuseok (추석)
Wednesday 18 September 202414Second Day of Chuseok (추석 둘째 날)
Oct
Thursday 3 October 202415National Foundation Day (전국 재단의 날)
Wednesday 9 October 202416Korean Alphabet Day (한글의 날)
Dec
Wednesday 25 December 202417Christmas Day (크리스마스 날)

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:

  • Health Insurance

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • 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.

  • 4.5%

    National pension contribution

  • 3.43%

    National Health Insurance contribution

  • 1.05% - 1.65%

    Employment insurance

  • 0.70% to 1.90% - Worker Accident Compensation Insurance

  • 0.5%

    Resident tax

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.

Employment termination

Termination process

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.

Notice period

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 organisation significantly.

Severance pay

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.

Probation periods

The Labour 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.

Fair Pricing in South Korea

Employer of Record

Hire and pay your global team

Starting at USD 599/month

Top features

  • Satisfaction guaranteed

  • No deposits or hidden fees

  • Zero onboarding or offboarding fees

  • Compliant equity incentives support including withholding and reporting

  • Built-in security and compliance

  • Fast onboarding (average 2-3 days)

  • Flexible, localised benefits

Contractor Management

Compliantly onboard and pay contractors

USD 29

per contractor/month

Start free trial

Top features

  • Only pay for contractors you actively work with

  • Work with contractors in 200+ countries

  • Create, edit, and sign tailored, localised contracts

  • Approve contractor invoices with one click or auto-pay

  • Transparent payments with complete visibility

Global Payroll

Consolidate your multi-country payroll

USD 50

per employee/month

Top features

  • Reduce costs by centralising payroll management

  • Ensure local compliance for every country

  • Direct support from in-house local payroll experts

  • Accurate, on-time, compliant payroll to level-up your employee experience

  • Tax and labour authority reporting handled for you

HRIS

Manage all of your employees in one place

Free
Sign up

Top features

  • Guided onboarding and offboarding

  • Employee profile and document management

  • Time and attendance (time off and tracking)

  • Expense management and reimbursement

  • Employee self-serve on the platform and mobile app