At Work in Seoul

Social Security in Seoul

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The Asian economic crisis of 1997 triggered the South Korean government to put in place its first National Pension Plan, as well as take action to ensure that a system be set up to handle the special needs of Korean workers coping with disability, illness or unemployment, and to assist workers’ families. The good news for foreigners is that a similar social security protection has recently been extended to them.

There are two types of unemployment benefits: the Job-Seeking Allowance and the Employment Promotion Allowance. Both types require a person to be involuntarily unemployed and to have worked at least 180 days within 18 months before unemployment.

The amount of benefit is normally 50% of your previous salary and can be claimed up to a period of 8 months depending on your age and total contributions made to the Employment Insurance System.

“Childcare leave” allows a mother or her spouse to take off up to one year to look after their child (under one year of age). It is indeed illegal for an employer to discriminate against a recipient of “childcare leave”. Furthermore, employers are obliged to provide adequate nursing facilities for mothers or fathers returning to work.

The Social Security Agreement allows those who become disabled while in Korea to apply for the state disability pension.

You will generally be required to pay into the system for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible, although this varies depending on your country of origin.

Update 17/05/2010


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