I’ve seen not a few expatriates in Korea having troubles with illegal clauses of labor contracts.
I’m going to serially introduce noteworthy Articles of Korean Labor Standards Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”. In this posting, the Articles that you may well keep in mind when you enter into a labor contract are informed.
First, when you make a labor contract, an employer shall clarify the conditions including wages, holidays and Annual paid leaves. The relevant Article of the Act is as follows;
Article 17 (Clear Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment)
(1) An employer shall state the following matters clearly. The same shall also apply to any alteration of the following matters after entering into a labor contract.
2. Contractual work hours;
3. Holidays under Article 55;
4. Annual paid leaves under Article 60;
5. Other terms and conditions prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(2) An employer shall deliver the written statement specifying constituent items, calculation methods and payment methods of wages with respect to the wages under paragraph (1) 1 and the matters prescribed in subparagraphs 2 through 4 to workers: Provided, That where the matters under the main sentence is modified due to reasons prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as changes, etc. of collective agreements or rules of employment, such matters shall be delivered to the relevant workers at their request.
Second, a clause prescribing the penalty for breach of the contract is illegal. For instance, the clause stating that in case an employee fails to complete the period according to the contract, he/she shall not be paid the last month salary is null and void. The relevant Article of the Act is as follows;
Article 20 (Prohibition against Predetermination of Penalty for Breach of Contracts)
An employer shall not enter into any contract in which a penalty or indemnity for possible damages caused by the breach of a labor contract is predetermined.
Please carefully review all the clauses when entering into a labor contract. If you notice there is a clause against Korean Labor Standards Act, ask your employer to correct it in order to avoid unnecessary and unpleasant conflict. I would hope that you will work under a legal labor contract in accord with Korean Labor Standards Act.
If you have any further inquiries, please request a consultation (https://lawyerhwang.com/consultation/). My office is located near Seoul District Court and Gyodae station in Seoul.
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