Global Compliance Desk – South Korea

South Korea Amendments to Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-Family Balance Assistance Act (EEA) and Labor Standards Act

On 2 August 2019, the Korean National Assembly passed amendments to the Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-Family Balance Assistance Act (EEA) providing more flexible working schedules, changes to the public holiday entitlement, increase in the minimum wage, and modifications in the entitlement of Family Leave for Private Employee. These changes took effect from January 1, 2021. Below is a brief description of each of the above-mentioned amendment – 

Weekly Working Hours

Currently, employees working in workplaces with at least 50 to 300 or more employees are entitled to 52 working hours per week..

Amendment – Effective July 1, 2021, employers with at least 5 and fewer than 50 employees shall reduce the weekly working hours from 68 to 52. The working hours shall consist of regular working hours capped at 40 hours per week and a maximum of 12 hours of overtime each week. 

Public Holidays 

In South Korea, government mandates only 1 paid holiday i.e. Labor Day (May 1). Through the legislative amendment in 2018, the holidays which were only provided to public/ government officials under the Regulations on Holidays of Government Offices were made mandatory to be given to private employees also. This amendment was scheduled to be rolled out in phases depending upon the size of the workplaces.

Amendment – Effective January 1, 2021, this regulatory change has become applicable to all employers with at least 30 and fewer than 299 employees. Going further, effective January 1, 2022, this will be made applicable to all employers with 5-29 employees too. Employers with fewer than 5 employees are exempted. Currently, this is applicable for all employers with more than 300 employees.

Reduction in Working Hours

Employees working in workplaces with 300 and more employees were entitled to apply for a reduction in working hours for the following purposes:

  • To take care of a family member;
  • For employee’s injury or illness
  • Education
  • To prepare for retirement after the age of 55.

    The working hour’s reduction can be between 15 to 30 working hours. The maximum period for the reduced working hour schedule is one year and based on reasonable grounds excluding study purpose, the period may be extended by up to 2 years.

    Amendment – Effective January 1, 2021, all employers having employees ranging from 20 to 299 shall allow the employees to apply for such a reduction in working hours. For employers with employees, fewer than 30 shall become applicable to apply for a reduction in working hours from January 1, 2022.

    Family Care Leave

    Earlier employees were entitled to 90 days of family care leave in South Korea, of which they must use 30 days at least at one go. Post amendment effective December 8, 2020 employees were permitted to use up to 10 days each year on a single basis rather than 30 days. Currently, the family care leave is only applicable to employees working in workplaces with 300 or more employees. 

    Amendment – Effective January 1, 2021, employers with 30 to 300 or more employees are required to provide family care leave to their employees.

    Minimum Wage

    Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in South Korea is KRW 8,720.

    Priyanjali
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Priyanjali
    A labor and employment lawyer at Replicon who specializes in global compliance. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. Replicon is an industry leader in global compliance and has a dedicated team which pro-actively monitors international labor regulations for ensuring proper adherence with specific country rule requirements.
    Get started today.
    Set up a free trial based on your business needs. Start Free Trial

    Global Compliance Desk – California

    Changes to Wage Premium Payment Practices for Non-compliant Meal and Rest Periods The California law [California Labor Code §226.7(c)] requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an additional hour of pay…Read More

    5 Steps to Proactive Resource Management for Services Firms

    As a business leader, you do your best to make your service organization successful. You invest in the latest technologies, hire the best candidates, and get all the essential resources…Read More

    Calculating the ROI of Your Projects with Time Tracking

    Before initiating a project, professional services firms want to know how much profit and revenue they can generate for the company. Return on Investment (ROI) analysis helps firms to evaluate…Read More

    Will AI replace consultants?

    The onset of AI and smart machines automating formerly-human jobs has been discussed at length as of late -- often in relation to manufacturing and manual labor jobs. And yet,…Read More

    Demystifying the millennial workforce: 5 tips from Trunk Club’s Andrew Anderson Devine

    Time magazine labels the millennial generation the “most threatening and exciting generation,” infamous for “narcissism [and] its effect: entitlement.” In the workplace, the perception of the millennial workforce is no…Read More

    Time and Attendance Orientation Guide

    In a growing business, the day will eventually come when managing time and attendance on paper becomes both inefficient and risky, especially when trying to balance things like overtime, paid…Read More
  1. Polaris
  2. Time & Project Insights
  3. Time & Projects Solutions
  4. Replicon Products
  5. Replicon Users
  6. Cloud
  7. Corporate
  8. Professional Services Management
  9. Shared Services Management
  10. Time and Attendance Management
  11. Customer Feature
  12. Time Intelligence
  13. Industry News
  14. Global Compliance Updates
  15. Others