Employment Contracts in South Korea

Information on definite, temporary and full- or part-time contracts for workers employed in South Korea...

In South Korea, minimum terms and conditions for employment are defined by the Labour Standards Act. An employee should have an employment contract in writing, which should include the following:

  • Name and address of both the company and the employee
  • Salary
  • Working hours
  • Details of holiday entitlement and paid annual leave
  • General working conditions
  • Location of work
  • Job description
  • The amount of time an employee can take off for sick leave

Traditionally, employment contracts in South Korea were indefinite and employees worked until a given retirement age. Fixed-term, temporary and part-time contracts are now becoming increasingly common.

Fixed-term contracts cannot exceed two years and beyond this limit, an employee must be treated as if they have an indefinite contract. Part-time employees are entitled to the same working rights as employees who do the same job full time, in proportion to the hours worked.

Employees who have at least an 80 percent attendance record at work are entitled to 15 days of paid holiday each year.

For information about contracts and labour-related enquiries, contact the Ministry of Employment and Labour

  • Tel: 031 345 5000

The South Korea Support Centre for Foreign Workers can also provide information on employment contracts.

  • Tel: 1644 0644

Working Hours

The Labour Standards Act states that standard working hours of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week apply to any place of work that has at least five regular employees.

An employee who has an agreement with their employer can work up to 12 hours per week of overtime. Pregnant women may not work overtime. A mother with a child who is less than one year old may not work overtime that exceeds two hours per day, six hours per week or 150 hours per year.

Further Information