Minimum Wage System

Coverage

Minimum wage should apply to all businesses or workplaces with 1 employee or more.

go to the Top

Application of under-rate

Apprentices who have been in the apprenticeship for less than 3 months Provided that workers who have made a labar contract with a fixed term of less than one year shall be excluded from this.

Those employed for the surveillance or intermittent work, as prescribed in subparagraph 3 of Article 61 of the Labor Standards Act, so long as their employers have obtained an under-rate permit from the Minister of Empolyment and Labor

go to the Top

Those excluded from the coverage

Those whose ability to work is apparently low due to their physical or mental disabilities, so long as their exclusion from the coverage is permitted by the Minister of Empolyment and Labor

Others whose inclusion in the minimum wage coverage is reasonably acknowledged as being inappropriate

go to the Top

Determination of minimum wage rates

Determining indicators

Workers' living costs, comparable workers' wages, labor productivity and income distribution ratio

Process of minimum wage deliberation and determination

Process of minimum wage deliberation and determination
go to the Top

Type of rate and wage elements counted

Type of rate

Minimum wage may be expressed in an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rate. - In case minimum wage is expressed in a daily, weekly or monthly rate, it should be also expressed in an hourly rate.

Wage elements counted

The wage, for the purpose of calculating minimum wage rates, is defined as follows:

Process of minimum wage deliberation and determination

Under the Labor Standards Act, wage is defined as "money and any type of valuables, whatever it is called, given by an employer to his/her employee in return for the work done".

The wage elements not counted for calculating minimum wage rates are:
① Other payments than those made regularly once or more frequently every month;
②Other payments than those made for the given number of working hours or working days; and
③ Other payments whose inclusion in the wage elements counted is not appropriate

go to the Top

Employers' obligations with regard to minimum wage and penal provisions for non-compliance

Obligation to pay minimum wage

Obligation to inform employees of minimum wage

Employers should inform their employees of a new rate of minimum wage and its effective date, no later than 1 day before the new rate takes effect.

Penal provisions for non-compliance

go to the Top

Minimum wage rates by year

Obligation to pay minimum wage

Yearly trends in minimum wage rates, number of beneficiary workers and influence rate (in won; %; thousand persons)

Secretariat
Year Minimum
wage rate(₩)
Increase(%) No. of
workers
covered
No. of
beneficiary
workers
Influence rate
2017.1~2017.12 Hourly 6,470 7.3 19,312 3,366 17.4
2016.1~2016.12 Hourly 6,030 8.1 18,776 3,420 18.2
2015.1~2015.12 Hourly 5,580 7.1 18,240 2,668 14.6
2014.1~2014.12 Hourly 5,210 7.2 17,734 2,565 14.5
2013.1~2013.12 Hourly 4,860 6.1 17,510 2,582 14.7
2012.1~2012.12 Hourly 4,580 6.0 17,048 2,343 13.7
2011.1~2011.12 Hourly 4,320 5.1 16,479 2,336 14.2
2010.1~2010.12 Hourly 4,110 2.75 16,103 2,566 15.9
2009.1~2009.12 Hourly 4,000 6.1 15,882 2,085 13.1
2008.1~2008.12 Hourly 3,770 8.3 15,351 2,214 13.8
2007.1~2007.12 Hourly 3,480 12.3 All 14,968 1,784 11.9
Regular 8,104 491 6.1
2005.9~2006.12 Hourly 3,100 9.2 All 14,584 1,503 10.3
Regular 8,027 494 6.2
2004.9~2005.8 Hourly 2,840 13.1 All 14,149 1,245 8.8
Regular 7,985 530 6.6
2003.9~2004.8 Hourly 2,510
(Monthly 567,260)
10.3 All 13,631 1,035 7.6
Regular 7,971 342 4.3
2002.9~2003.8 Hourly 2,275
(Monthly 514,150)
8.3 All 13,216 849 6.4
Regular 7,421 215 2.9
2001.9~2002.8 Hourly 2,100
(Monthly 474,600)
12.6 7,152 201 2.8
2000.9~2001.8 Hourly 1,865
(Monthly 421,490)
16.6 6,692 141 2.1
1999.9~2000.8 Hourly 1,600
(Monthly 361,600)
4.9 5,031 54 1.1
1998.9~1999.8 Hourly 1,525
(Monthly 344,650)
2.7 5,136 23 0.4
1997.9~1998.8 Hourly 1,485
(Monthly 335,610)
6.1 5,350 124 2.3
1996.9~1997.8 Hourly 1,400
(Monthly 316,400)
9.8 5,240 127 2.4
1995.9~1996.8 Hourly 1,275
(Monthly 288,150)
9.0 5,381 103 1.9
1994.9~1995.8 Hourly 1,170
(Monthly 264,420)
7.8 4,864 103 2.1
1994.1~1994.8 Hourly 1,085
(Monthly 245,210)
8.0 4,916 102 2.1
1993 Hourly 1,005
(Monthly 227,130)
8.6 5,045 228 4.5
1992 Hourly 925
(Monthly 209,050)
12.8 4,620 392 8.5
1991 Hourly 820
(Monthly 192,700)
18.8 4,556 393 8.6
1990 Hourly 690
(Monthly 165,600)
15.0 4,386 187 4.3
1989 Hourly 600
(Monthly 144,000)
Average: 26.3
Group 1: 29.7
Group 2: 23.1
3,053 328 10.7
1988 (Group 1)Hourly 462.50
Monthly 111,000
(Group 2)Hourly 487.50
Monthly 117,000
  2,267 94 4.2

Note: Until the year 2002, the number of workers covered referred to regular employees only.

go to the Top