South Korea: Changes to State Employment Insurance, Weekly Working Hours, and Minimum Wage

October 21, 2021
1 min read
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State Employment Insurance

From July, more workers will be covered under the State Employment Insurance scheme. They include insurance agents, parcel delivery workers, door-to-door salespersons, and after-school instructors. Under the scheme, workers can receive unemployment benefits and apply for benefits related to maternity leave.

The insurance premium is set at 1.4%, with both employee and employer co-paying half of the fee.  Those earning less than US$710 per month will not be eligible. Also excluded from the scheme are workers aged 65 and older.


Amendment to Maximum Weekly Working Hours for Employers with 5-49 Employees

From July, the total number of hours an employee can work over a 7-day period has been reduced from 68 hours to 52 hours for employers with 5-49 employees. The regulation was implemented for companies employing over 300 workers in 2018 and companies with more than 50 employees from January 2020. Small companies with less than five workers will not be affected by the ruling. Employers who fail to comply with the reduced working hours may be subject to penalties of up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to KRW20 million (USD17,700).


Minimum Wage to Increase in 2022

From January 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase from the current 8,720 won to 9,160 (US$8) won per hour.



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