Employment contracts

What you need to know

Employment contracts

Koreans put much emphasis on trust and personal relationships, therefore employment contracts may not necessarily be binding. You may realize that the contracts are more of a work in progress. There is often room for negotiations and changes that could work to your advantage.

Types of contracts

There are a number of different contracts that employers issue to their workers in Korea, some of which include:

  • "annual hours contracts"
  • "part-timers" and
  • "self-employed workers"

Most teaching and tutoring jobs provide employees with a renewable one-year contract. Many of the one-year contracts are almost identical, however, it is important to recognize the differences in detail and know exactly what your contract includes.


Salary, hours, job description, transportation, and housing are the most common aspects of a job contract that foreigners seem to have problems with later on. Also, some contracts may neglect to include information on taxes and health care so if those things are important to you, mention it to your employer.

Contracts may state numbers and promises that look good on paper but never seem to go beyond that. Speak with your future employer and validate each agreement with words because that may prove to be more credible that a written contract.

Further reading

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