Korea Tip 121: English Teacher Rights

  1. Health Insurance: Your employer is required to enroll you for National Health Insurance.  The cost is shared 50/50  Employer/Employee. The employee’s contribution is usually 2.82% of the monthly wage.
  2. Pension: You are required to participate in the National Pension Savings.  The contributions are shared 50/50 Employer/Employee.  The employee’s contribution is usually 4.5% of the monthly wage. After leaving the country you should receive about 9% of your total wages as a lump sum payment.  (This is not available for citizens of some countries.)
  3. No Deductions: The employer cannot deduct anything from wages for any reason other than health insurance, taxes, and pension, even if you end your contract early.
  4. Leaving Bonus: If your contract stipulates a monthly pay rather than an annual salary, you have a right to about one month’s pay in “severance” or “leaving bonus” (Tway-jik-keum: 퇴직금) for each full year of work.
  5. Written Notice or Severance Pay: If you have worked for at least six months and are fired without one month written notice, you usually have a right to one month of severance pay.
  6. Just Cause: You can never be fired without just cause.
  7. Faithfulness to Contract and to Law: The employer must follow the terms of the contract in terms of employee rights and benefits.  However, some terms of the contract may actually be oppressive and illegal, so the employer’s highest responsibility is to the law.
  8. On Time Pay: If you are paid late 3 times, you can file an official complaint at the Korean Labor Office.
  9. Injury Compensation:  If you are injured at work, the government will pay all the medical expenses and provide 70% worker’s compensation pay from the government while you are unable to work.  (Additional compensation is also possible depending on the severity of the injury.)
  10. Overtime:  Your employer cannot force you to work more than hours stipulated in your contract.
Foreigners have the same exact labor rights as Koreans.
If you have questions or need help getting your rights, contact Cheonan Migrants Shelter. 
Mr. Park: 011-9281-4740  balipark[at]empal.com, jennymanurung[at]hotmail.com

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