Q) I am on an F2 visa and teaching for 28 months at the same school. The contract between myself and the owner is basically a few written lines, just mention salary and final teaching date. There is no mentioning of severance payment. According to the labor law, am I entitled to severance payment even though it is not mention in a short contract?
A) If and to the extent that you are legally regarded as an employee under Korean labor law, you are entitled to the severance payment.
The term employee under Korean labor law is someone who provides labor pursuant to his or her employer’s instructions or directions in exchange for wage compensation. The most important factors for classifying someone as an employee are, among other things, (i) whether the person receives instructions or directions from an employer, so there exists a superior/subordinate relationship and (ii) whether the wages the person receives are of a nature that compensate for the labor he or she provided. In many cases, foreign English teachers in Hagwon or school are being regarded as employees under Korean law.
It doesn’t matter whether your contract provides the clause or not. As I explained in my other posts, Korean labor laws (especially the Guarantee of Workers’ Retirement Benefits Act or Pension for Private Teachers and Staff Act) guarantee the minimum severance payment or pension plan for the employees.
I hope this to be of assistance to you. If you have more questions on severance payment or any other Korean labor law related issues, please send an email to email@example.com or visit Legal Consultation page. Our Korean licensed labor lawyers, not a U.S. lawyer residing in Korea, will answer your inquiry.
Also you can find a stack of competent legal information and articles on Korean labor law, written by a Korean licensed lawyer, by clicking here.
© 2010 Mr. Wonil Chung, a Korean Lawyer/Chung & Partners, a Korean Law Firm. All rights reserved.
Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein, which may or may not reflect the most current legal development, may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.