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Korea, Republic of. - Labor Standards Act
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Korea, Republic of

Law No. 5309, Mar. 13, 1997.- Labor Standards Act

[English translation by the Korean Ministry of Labor]

Chapter I General Provisions

Chapter II Labor Contract

Chapter III Wages

Chapter IV Working Hours and Recess

Chapter V Females and Minors

Chapter VI Safety and Health

Chapter VII Apprenticeship

Chapter VIII Accident Compensation

Chapter IX Rules of Employment

Chapter X Dormitory

Chapter XI Labor Inspectors etc.

Chapter XII Penal Provisions

Addenda


Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 (Purpose)

The purpose of this Act is to set the standards for the conditions of employment in conformity with the constitution, thereby securing and improving the living standards of workers and achieving a well-balanced development of the national economy.

Article 2 (Standards of Conditions of Employment)

The conditions of employment provided herein shall be the lowest standards and the parties to employment relations, therefore, shall not reduce the conditions of employment under the pretext of compliance with this Act.

Article 3 (Determination of Conditions of Employment)

The conditions of employment shall be determined based upon the mutual agreement between employers and workers, on an equal footing.

Article 4 (Observance of Conditions of Employment)

Both employers and workers shall comply with collective agreements, rules of employment, and terms of labor contracts, and each of them shall be obliged to do so in good faith.

Article 5 (Equal Treatment)

An employer shall not discriminate against workers by sex, or take discriminatory treatment in relation to the conditions of employment according to nationality, religion or social status.

Article 6 (Prohibition of Forced Labor)

An employer shall not force a worker to work against his own free will through the use of violence, intimidation, confinement or by any other means which unjustly restrict mental or physical freedom.

Article 7 (Prohibition of Violence)

An employer shall not resort to violence or batter a worker for the occurrence of accidents or for any other reason.

Article 8 (Elimination of Intermediary Exploitation)

Anyone shall neither intervene in the employment of other person for the purpose of making a profit, nor gain benefit as an intermediary unless otherwise provided by law.

Article 9 (Guarantee of Exercise of Civil Rights)

An employer shall not reject a request from a worker to grant time necessary to exercise franchise or other civil rights, or to perform official duties during his working hours; however, the time requested may be changed, unless such change impedes the exercise of those rights or performance of those civil duties.

Article 10 (Scope of Application)

Article 11 (Scope of Application)

This Act and the Presidential Decree issued in accordance with this Act shall apply to the government, Seoul Special City, metropolitan cities, Provinces, Shi, Kun, Ku, Eup, Myon, Dong, or other equivalents.

Article 12 (Duty to Report and Attend)

An employer or a worker shall, without delay, report on matters required, or shall present himself, if the Minister of Labor, a Labor Relations Commission or a Labor Inspector requests to do so in relation to the enforcement of this Act.

Article 13 (Publicity of Law and Decree, etc.)

(1)An employer shall keep workers informed of the main points of this Act, and of the Presidential Decree promulgated pursuant hereto, and the rules of employment by posting or keeping them at each workplace at all times.

(2)An employer shall post or keep the provisions and regulations regarding dormitory, among the provisions and regulations referred to in paragraph (1), at dormitory concerned, thereby keeping workers informed thereof.

Article 14 (Definition of Worker)

The term "worker" in this Act means a person engaged in whatever occupation offering work to a business or workplace (hereinafter referred to as "business") for the purpose of earning wages.

Article 15 (Definition of Employer)

The term "employer" in this Act means a business owner, or a person responsible for management of a business or a person who works on behalf of a business owner with respect to matters relating to workers.

Article 16 (Definition of Work)

The term "work" in this Act means both mental and physical work.

Article 17 (Definition of Labor Contract)

The term "labor contract" in this Act means a contract which is entered into in order that a worker offers work for which an employer pays its corresponding wages.

Article 18 (Definition of Wages)

The term "wages" in this Act means wages, salary, and any other payment to a worker from an employer as remuneration for work, regardless of the designation by which such payment is called. .

Article 19 (Definition of Average Wages)

Article 20 (Definition of Contractual Working Hours)

The term "contractual working hours" in this Act means working hours on which workers and employers have made an agreement within the limit of working hours under Article 49 or the text of Article 67, or Article 46 of the Industrial Safety and Health Act.

Article 21 (Definition of Part-Time Worker)

The term "part-time worker" in this act means an employee whose contractual working hours per week are shorter than those of full-time worker engaged in the same kind of job at the pertinent workplace.


Chapter II Labor Contract

Article 22 (Labor Contract contrary to This Act)

Article 23 (Term of Contract)

The term of a labor contract shall not exceed one year, except in cases where there is no term fixed or a term is fixed as necessary for the completion of a certain project.

Article 24 (Statement of Terms of Employment)

An employer shall clearly state remuneration, working hours, and other terms of employment to a worker at a time when a contract of employment is concluded. In this case, matters as to each constituent item of remuneration, and the methods of calculation and payment shall be specified according to the methods prescribed by the Presidential Decree.

Article 25 (Working Conditions for Part-time Worker)

Article 26 (Violation of Conditions of Employment)

Article 27 (Prohibition of Predetermination of Nonobservance)

An employer shall not enter into any contract by which a penalty or indemnity for possible damages incurred from nonobservance of a labor contract is predetermined.

Article 28 (Prohibition of Offsetting Wages against Advances)

An employer shall not offset wages against an advance or other credit given in advance on condition that a worker offers work.

Article 29 (Prohibition of Compulsory Saving)

Article 30 (Restriction on Dismissal, etc.)

Article 31 (Employment Adjustment for Managerial Reasons)

Article 32 (Advance Notice of Dismissal)

Article 33 (Application for Remedy for Unfair Dismissal, etc)

Article 34 (Retirement Allowances System)

Article 35 (Exception of Advance Notice of Dismissal)

The provisions of Article 32 shall not apply to workers who fall within each of the following subparagraphs:

Article 36 (Liquidation of Money and Valuables)

If a worker dies or retires, an employer shall pay the wages, compensations, and other money or valuables within 14 days after the cause for such payment has occurred; however, the period, under special circumstances, may be extended by the mutual agreement between the parties concerned.

Article 37 (Preferential Reimbursement for Claim of Wages)

Article 38 (Certificate of Employment)

Article 39 (Prohibition of Interference with Employment)

Anyone shall not prepare and use secret signs or lists, or have communication for the purpose of interfering with employment of a worker.

Article 40 (Register of Workers)

Article 41 (Preservation of Documents regarding Contract)

An employer shall preserve a register of workers and other important documents regarding labor contract provided for by the Presidential Decree for three years.


Chapter III Wages

Article 42 (Payment of Wages)

Article 43 (Payment of Wages in Subcontract Business)

Article 44 (Emergency Payment)

An employer shall advance partial payments of wages for the work offered even prior to payday, if a worker requests to do so in order to meet the expenses incurred from childbirth, disease, disaster or any other cases of emergency which are provided for in the Presidential Decree.

Article 45 (Pay for Suspension of Business)

Article 46 (Subcontract Workers)

For those workers who are employed for subcontract or other equivalent system, an employer shall guarantee a certain amount of remuneration in proportion to their actual working hours.

Article 47 (Wage Ledger)

An employer shall prepare a wage ledger for each workplace and enter the matters which serve as a basis for determining wages and family allowances, the amount of wages and other matters as provided for by the Presidential Decree at each time of payment.

Article 48 (Prescription of Wages)

A claim for wages under the provisions of this Act shall be terminated because of prescription, if not exercised within three years.


Chapter IV Working Hours and Recess

Article 49 (Working Hours)

Article 50 (Flexible Working Hour System)

Article 51 (Selective Working Hour System)

If an employer has made a written agreement on each of the following subparagraphs with representatives of workers regarding a worker who is entrusted with the decision to begin and finish works in accordance with rules of employment(including those equivalent to rules of employment), the employer may have workers work in excess of working hours per week set by paragraph (1) of Article 49, or per day set by paragraph (2) of Article 49 on condition that average working hours per week computed on the basis of adjustment period of balances within one month do not exceed the working hours stipulated in paragraph (1) of Article 49.

Article 52 (Restriction on Extended Works)

Article 53 (Recess Hours)

Article 54 (Holidays)

An employer shall allow a worker more than one-day holiday with pay per week on the average.

Article 55 (Extended Work, Night Work and Holiday Work)

An employer shall pay additional remuneration of more than fifty percentage points of normal remuneration for extended works (extended works as set forth in the provisions of Articles 52 and 58, and the proviso of Article 67) and night works(works provided from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), Sunday or public holiday works.

Article 56 (Special Provisions for Computation of Working Hours)

Article 57 (Monthly Leave with Pay)

Article 58 (Special Provisions as to Working and Recess Hours)

Article 59 (Annual Paid Leave)

Article 60 (Substitution of Paid Leave)

An employer may have workers take a paid leave on a particular working day in substitution for the monthly paid leave pursuant to Article 57, or the annual paid leave pursuant to Article 59, if the employer and the representative of workers have reached agreement in writing.

Article 61 (Exceptions to Application)

The provisions of this Chapter and Chapter 5 as to working hours, recess, and holidays shall not be applied to workers who fall within each of the following subparagraphs:


Chapter V Females and Minors

Article 62 (Minimum Age and Employment Permit)

Article 63 (Prohibition of Employment)

Female wokers and those who are under 18 shall not be employed for any work detrimental to morality or health. The prohibited type of work shall be determined by the Presidential Decree.

Article 64 (Minor Certificate)

For each minor worker under 18, an employer shall keep at each workplace a copy of the census register testifying to his age and a written consent of his parent or guardian.

Article 65 (Labor Contract)

Article 66 (Claim for Wages)

A minor may claim his wages in his own right.

Article 67 (Working Hours)

Working hours of a person aged between 15 and 18 shall not exceed seven hours per day and forty-two hours per a week; provided, however, that the parties concerned have reached agreement, the working hours may be extended up to an hour per day, or six hours per week.

Article 68 (Prohibition of Night Work)

Neither female nor minor under the age of 18 shall not be forced to work during a time period from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. or on holidays. However, if the consent of the worker concerned and the approval of the Ministry of labor has been obtained, this shall not apply.

Article 69 (Overtime Work)

An emloyer shall be forbidden to have female workers over 18 do overtime work exceeding 2 hours per day, 6 hours per week, and 150 hours per year, even if provided for in a collective agreement.

Article 70 (Prohibition of Work Inside Pit)

An employer shall not have a female or minor under the age of 18 do any work inside a pit.

Article 71 (Menstruation Leave)

An employer shall allow a female worker one day's menstruation leave with pay per month.

Article 72 (Maternity Leave)

Article 73 (Nursing Hours)

A female worker who has an infant under twelve months shall be allowed to take more than 30 minutes of each nursing period twice a day.

Article 74 (Home-coming Expenses)

An employer shall bear travel expenses if a female or minor under the age of 18 returns home within 14 days from the date of dismissal; however, this provision shall not apply, if the reason for dismissal is attributable to the worker and the employer has obtained the approval thereof from the Labor Relations Commission.

Article 75 (Education Facilities)


Chapter VI Safety and Health

Article 76 (Safety and Health)

The safety and health of workers shall be subject to the conditions as prescribed in the Industrial Safety and Health Act.


Chapter VII Apprenticeship

Article 77 (Prohibition of Abuse of Apprentice)

An employer shall not abuse workers in training or workers on probation or any other apprentice whose purpose is to acquire a technical skill, and shall not assign to them domestic works or other works which are not related to the acquirement of technical skill.

Article 78 (Training of Skilled Workers)

Article 79 (Minor)

A minor who is subject to the provisions of Article 78 shall be given 12 days' annual leaves with pay per year in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 59.

Article 80 (Cancellation of Approval)

If an employer hiring a worker who is subject to the provision of Article 78 is disqualified or violates the conditions of the approval, the Minister of Labor may cancel the approval stipulated in paragraph (2) of Article 78.


Chapter VIII Accident Compensation

Article 81 (Medical Treatment Compensation)

Article 82 (Compensation for Suspension of Work)

An employer shall provide a worker undergoing medical treatment as provided for in Article 81 with compensation for the suspension of work due to the occupational injury or disease equivalent to 60 percent of the average wages during the period of medical treatment.

Article 83 (Compensation for the Handicapped)

If a worker remains handicapped even after finishing treatment for an occupational injury or disease, an employer shall provide the handicapped worker, according to the level of disability, with compensation equivalent to the sum of the average wages multiplied by the number of days provided for in the attached table.

Article 84 (Exceptions to Articles 82 and 83)

If a worker suffers from an occupational injury or disease due to his own gross negligence, and an employer obtains the ackowledgment of the Labor Relations Commission for that negligence, the employer may not provide compensation for the suspension of work or compensation for handicap.

Article 85 (Compensation for Survivors)

If a worker dies with regard to the performance of his duty, an employer shall provide survivor's compensation equivalent to average wages of 1,000 days to a surviving family.

Article 86 (Funeral Expenses)

If a worker dies with regard to the performance of his duty, an employer shall provide funeral expenses equivalent to the average wage of 90 days.

Article 87 (Lump Sum Compensation)

If a worker receiving compensation in accordance with Article 81 has not completely recovered from the said occupational injury or disease even after a lapse of two years since the medical care began, the employer may be exonerated from any further obligation to grant compensation under this Act thereafter by providing a lump sum compensation equivalent to the average wages of 1,340 days.

Article 88 (Instalment Compensation)

If an employer proves his ability to pay compensation, and has obtained the consent of a recipient, he may pay the compensation stipulated in the provisions of Article 83, 85 or 87 by instalments during one year.

Article 89 (Claim for Compensation)

A claim for compensation shall not be changed due to retirement and shall not be transferred nor be confiscated.

Article 90 (Relationship with Other Damage Claims)

If a person to receive compensation has received money or other valuables corresponding to accident compensation stipulated in this Act in accordance with the Civil Code, other laws or decrees for the same reason, the employer shall be exonerated from any obligation of compensation to the extent of the said value received.

Article 91 (Reappraisal and Arbitration of the Minister of Labor)

Article 92 (Reappraisal and Arbitration of Labor Relations Commission)

Article 93 (Exception to Subcontracted work)

Article 94 (Documents to be kept)

An employer shall keep important documents concerning accident compensations for two years.

Article 95 (Prescription)

A claim for accident compensation in accordance with this Act shall be forfeited because of prescription, if not exercised within three years.


Chapter IX Rules of Employment

Article 96 (Preparation and Submission of Rules of Employment)

An employer ordinarily employing more than ten workers shall prepare the rules of employment concerning the following matters and submit it to the Minister of Labor. If any amendment to the rules of employment occurs, the same procedures shall also be taken:

Article 97 (Procedures for Preparation of and Amendment to Rules of Employment)

Article 98 (Limitation on Punishment)

If a punitive reduction in wages for a worker is stipulated in the rules of employment, the reduction amount for each infraction shall not exceed half of one day's average wages, and the total amount of reduction shall not exceed one-tenth of the total amount of wages at each time of wages payment.

Article 99 (Observance of Collective Agreement)

Article 100 (Effect of Violation)

If a labor contract includes employment conditions which are below the standards stipulated in the rules of employment, such nonconformity shall be null and void. In this case, the invalidated provisions shall be governed by the standards provided for in the rules of employment.


Chapter X Dormitory

Article 101 (Protection of Dormitory Life)

Article 102 (Preparation of and Amendment to Dormitory Rules)

Article 103 (Measures for Safety and Health)


Chapter XI Labor Inspectors etc.

Article 104 (Supervisory Authorities)

Article 105 (Authority of Labor Inspectors)

Article 106 (Duty of Labor Inspector)

A labor inspector shall not disclose any confidential matter which he learns through the course of performing his official duty. The same shall be applied after he is retired.

Article 107 (Report to Supervisory Authorities)

Article 108 (Limit of Judicial Police Duty)

Only public prosecutors and labor inspectors shall be able to inspect, request the presentation of documents, question and conduct any other investigation, in accordance with this Act and other laws or decrees pertaining to labor affairs; however, this shall not be applied to an investigation into an offense or a crime committed by a labor inspector in the course of performing his official duty.

Article 109 (Delegation of Authority)

The authority of the Minister of Labor under this Act may be delegated, in part, to a chief of a regional labour authority in accordance with the Presidential Decree.


Chapter XII Penal Provisions

Article 110 (Penal Provisions)

A person who has violated the provisions of Article 6, 7, 8, 30(1) and (2), or 39 shall be punished by imprisonment for less than five years or by a fine not exceeding thirty million won.

Article 111 (Penal Provisions)

A labor inspector who has willfully connived at contravention of the provisions of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment for less than three years or supension of civil rights for less than five years.

Article 112 (Penal Provisions)

A person who has violated the provisions of Article 36, 42, 43, 45, 55, 63 or 70 shall be punished by imprisonment for less than three years or by a fine not exceeding twenty million won.

Article 113 (Penal Provisions)

Any individual falling within any of the following subparagaphs shall be punished by imprisonment for less than two years, or by a fine of not exceeding ten million Won:

Article 114 (Penal Provisions)

A person who has violated the provisions of Article 44 shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten million won.

Article 115 (Penal Provisions)

A person who falls under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five million won:

Article 116 (Double Penal Provisions)

If a person who has committed an act in contravention of this Act is a proxy, servant or other hired person who acts on behalf of a business owner in relation to matters regarding workers at the business concerned, the said business owner shall likewise be subject to punishment by a fine as provided in each corresponding Article, unless the business owner(a representitive of a business if a business owner is an incorporation, or a legal representative if a buiness owner is a minor or an incompetent who does not have same ability as that of adult in terms of business management) had previously taken adequate measures to prevent violation. A business owner shall also be punished in the same manner as an actual offender, if a business owner does not provide adequate measures to prevent violation even though he recognised the possible violation, or he has failed to provide necessary corrective measures once he knew of the violation, or he has instigated such violation to be performed.


Table of Disability Grade and Accident Compensation(Article 83)

Grade Accident Compensation Grade Accident Compensation
Grade 1 1,340 days' average wages Grade 8 450 days' average wages
Grade 2 1,190 days' average wages Grade 9 350 days' average wages
Grade 3 1,050 days' average wages Grade 10 270 days' average wages
Grade 4 920 days' average wages Grade 11 200 days' average wages
Grade 5 790 days' average wages Grade 12 140 days' average wages
Grade 5 670 days' average wages Grade 13 90 days' average wages
Grade 7 560 days' average wages Grade 14 50 days' average wages

 


Addenda

Article 1 (Date of Enforcement)

This Act shall take effect from the date of its promulgation, provided that the provisions of Article 31 shall be effective 2 years after the date of the promulgation.

Article 2 (Transitional Measures as to Request for Report, etc.)

After this Act takes effect, the requests to make report, appear, or submit books or documents by the Minister of Labor, the Labor Relations Commission, or a labor inspector to an employer or a worker in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been made under this Act.

Article 3 (Trasitional Measures as to Labor Contract, etc.)

After this Act takes effect, a labor contract, rules of employment, or dormitory rules, which has been concluded in accordance with the former provisions, shall be deemed to have been concluded under this Act.

Article 4 (Transitional Measures as to Advance Notice of Dismissal)

After this Act takes effect, an advance notice of dismissal which has been made in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been made under this Act.

Article 5 (Transitional Measures as to Retirement Allowances System)

After this Act takes effect, a retirement allowance scheme established, or retirement allowance paid by adjusting the balances of remuneration before retirement in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been established or paid under this Act.

Article 6 (Transitional Measures as to Holidays, etc.)

After this Act takes effect, holidays or leaves which employers have granted to workers in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been granted under this Act.

Article 7 (Transitional Measures as to Accident Compensation)

After this Act takes effect, accident compensation which has been made in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been made under this Act.

Article 8 (Transitional Measures as to Validity of Written Agreement)

After this Act takes effect, a written agreement between an employer and a representative of workers or an agreement between an employer and workers which has been made in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been made under this Act.

Article 9 (Transitional Measures as to Validity of Consent)

After this Act takes effect, consent which has been obtained from a trade union, majority of workers, workers, a person who is entitled to receive compensation, or a person who represents the majority of workers lodging in a dormitory in accordance with the former provision shall be deemed to have been obtained under this Act.

Article 10 (Transitional Measures as to Validity of Claim, etc.)

After this Act takes effect, a claim or a request which a worker has made to the Minister of Labor, the Labor Relations Commission, or an employer in accordance with the former provisoins shall be deemed to have been made under this Act.

Article 11 (Transitional Measures as to Validity of Report)

After this Act takes effect, report which an employer has made to the Minister of Labor in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been made under this Act.

Article 12 (Transitional Measures as to Validity of Approval, etc.)

After this Act takes effect, the actions of approval, acknowledgement, order, investigation, arbitration, or cancellation of approval which have been conducted by the Minister of Labor or the Labor Relations Commission in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been conducted under this Act.

Article 13 (Transitional Measures as to Validity of Employment Permit, etc.)

(1)After this Act takes effect, an employment permit, identification card, a letter of order for investigation, or a letter of order for a medical examination which has been issued by the Minister of Labor in accordance with the former provisions shall be deemed to have been issued under this Act.

(2)After this act takes effect, in cases where a minor aged above thirteen and under fifteen who is employed requests the Minister of Labor to issue an employment permit within 3 months after the enforcement of this Act, the Minister of Labor shall issue an employment permit.

Article 14 (Transitional Measures as to Penal Provisions)

Application of penal provisions to the actions prior to the enforcement of this Act shall be in accordance with the former provisions of this Act.

Article 15 (Relationship with other Enactments)

After this Act takes effect, any citation in other enactments from the former Labor Standards Act or the provisions of the Act shall be construed as citing this Act or corresponding provisions of this Act in place of former provisions, where there are corresponding provisions in this Act.



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