Social Welfare Benefits in South Korea

Find out about the financial aid and welfare benefits available to residents and employees in South Korea when they fall ill, have children or become parents...

Sick Leave Benefits

The amount of time an employee can take off for sick leave is usually stated in their work contract and a medical certificate is needed to confirm that an employee is unable to work. If an employer terminates an employee's contract because of a long absence, the employee should contact the Job Centre (Go Yong) to receive sick leave benefits. Sick leave benefits are calculated according to:

  • Salary
  • Age
  • Length of employment

There are few official guidelines pertaining to sick leave benefits in South Korea, as sick leave is usually negotiated between employer and employee and the terms are stated in the employment contract.

Child Benefits

The child benefit system in South Korea is based on a family's income and assets. There are two child benefit systems: one is organised by central government, while the other is at local government level. The majority of these benefits are only available to foreigners who are married to Korean citizens.

  • For more information on child benefits, see the Angloinfo INFOrmation Page on Babies and Children

Maternity Benefits

Women are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave under Korean labour law. The starting date can be decided by employer and employee, but 45 consecutive days must be taken after the birth. Benefits are paid out by Employment Insurance or the company, depending on the company's size. Benefits can range from the minimum monthly wage to KRW 4,050,000 - again depending on the company's size.

  • To calculate maternity leave benefits online: Click here (in Korean)

Parental Leave

Parental leave applies to parents with children who are under six years old. Parents are only eligible for parental leave if they have worked for an employer for more than one year. Each parent can take up to one year parental leave, but they cannot take leave at the same time. This leave need not continue directly at the end of maternity leave. A parent receives 40 percent of their monthly income from Employment Insurance.

  • To find out how to apply for parental leave: Click here (in Korean)