The Labor Standards Act was enacted to guarantee the basic livelihood of workers for balanced national economic development. All workers including foreign workers are protected under this act.

Labor Contract

A signed contract between the employer and foreign worker.
As an agreement on important matters such as wages and occupation type etc., it is important for the contents of the labor contract to be in writing.

Protection under the Labor Standards Act (※ Source: Labor Standards Act and Employee Retirement Benefit Security Act)

  • Applicable to all businesses or workplaces that employ five or more regular workers.
  • Only certain provisions of the Labor Standards Act are applicable to businesses or workplaces with 4 or fewer workers.
  • Full monetary wages should be paid directly (bank transfer possible) and regularly on a fixed date at least once a month.
  • Additional wages may be received for overtime work, night work and holiday work.
  • Workers who work for more than a year are entitled to retirement pay.
  • Workers may report any violation of the Labor Standards Act such as unpaid wages and retirement pay, assault by employer or supervisor, long working hours or forced labor against one's will etc. to the local labor office or labor supervisor.

Minimum Wage

  • It refers to the lower limit of wages set by law to protect the rights and maintain the basic livelihood of workers.
  • As of year 2024, the minimum wage was set at 9,860 won per hour.

Working Hours (applicable to businesses with more than 5 workers)

  • Working hours per week may not exceed 40 hours a week excluding break time.
  • Working hours may not exceed 8 hours a day excluding break time.
    • A 30-minute break should be given for every 4 hours of work, and a 1-hour break should be given for every 8 hours of work.
  • An employer should provide rest time on top of working hours.
  • A worker may work up to 12 hours of overtime a week according to the agreement between employer and worker. Overtime pay should be calculated at 50% above regular wage.
    • For businesses with fewer than 5 employees, there is no overtime limit and any resulting overtime pay is not a legal obligation. Also, for every 4 hours of work, workers should be allowed to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Delayed Payment of Wages

  • Delayed payment of wages refers to the failure of employers to pay wages on the fixed payday. If this occurs, a worker may inform the local labor office or labor supervisor and ask for action to be taken. Fact-finding on the employer and worker is normally executed 10 to 14 days after the reported case is filed with the local labor office. In order to help with investigations, the worker is encouraged to prepare various documents to prove his or her claim.
Source: "Be an Incheoner" - Guidebook for Foreign Residents in Incheon