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Employment Insurance

Companies pay an employment insurance premium with a certain amount from monthlyremunerations of business owners and employees, preparing for unemployment.Employees who lose their jobs can receive unemployment from their employmentinsurance and are eligible for job training. Business owners with employment insurancecan receive assistance when taking corrective actions to maintain their staff or to providejob training.

01 Social Insurance

  • A Korean national employee is automatically signed up for social insurance programs (national pension,health insurance, employment insurance).
  • A foreign resident without Korean nationality may choose whether or not he or she wishes to apply forsocial insurance, but they are generally encouraged to do so.
  • Insurance fees are deducted from the worker's salary and transferred to the Korean Institute for Social Insurance.

02 Unemployment Benefits

For employees who lose their jobs, employment insurance provides benefits for a certain period of timeto help employees overcome financial difficulties and seek new employment.

  • Unemployment benefits should not be viewed as compensation for unemployment or the return ofemployment insurance premiums.
  • Unemployment benefits serve as an incentive for active job seeking
  • The unemployed can not apply for unemployment benefits after 12 months have lapsed since their last day of work.

(1) Qualifications

Those who meet the qualifications below may apply for unemployment benefits.

  • In the case of working over 180 days in terms of insured unit period (basis of counting days forpaying remuneration) for 18 months before retirement at a business protected by employmentinsurance
  • Employees who have been forced to quit
  • Those who have lost their job, but are actively seeking gainful employment. (Those who have voluntarilyquit their job or have been fired for just cause can not apply for unemployment benefits.)
Useful Information
Eligibility for Employment Insurance

Any worker who is employed by a business with one or more employees is automatically insured,but the eligibility of foreigner workers is subject to the reciprocity principle.

(2) Unemployment Benefits

  • Amount of Unemployment Benefits = 50% of the average salary before retirement x number of days(maximum amount per day: KRW 66,000, minimum amount per day: 90% of the minimum wage)
    • Minimum amount: As of January 2019, the amount is 60,120 won based on the fixed working hours of 8 perday (54,216 won for those who left work in 2018)
  • Number of days of unemployment benefits: The number of days of unemployment benefits rangesfrom 90 to 240, and is based on the age of the employee at the time of dismissal and the duration ofthe employment insurance subscription.
Number of days of unemployment benefits (number of days of benefits)
Number of days of unemployment benefits (number of days of benefits)
Age and Duration of SubscriptionLess than 1 Year1-3 Years3-5 Years5-10 YearsLonger than 10 Years
30 or Younger90 days90 days120 days150 days180 days
30-5090 days120 days150 days180 days210 days
50 or older and the disabled90 days150 days180 days210 days240 days
  • Full age at time of dismissal

(3) Application Process

  • If you are dismissed from your current place of employment, register yourself as a jobseeker at theWorkNet site, and take your ID card to your local employment center to apply for unemployment.
  • At the employment center, fill out and submit an application for unemployment benefits.
  • You will be notified whether or not your application has been approved within 14 days.
    (Rejection notices are delivered in writing)
  • To be registered as unemployed, visit your local job center on thedesignated dates, which are set at one-week to four-week intervals.
  • Submit the following to the employment center: status of unemployment forthe acknowledged duration of unemployment, and proof of job seeking activities
    (Submit resumes, job interviews, etc.)

03 Employment Insurance for Business Owners

(1) Subscription Method

Voluntary subscription (in case one intends to be insured)

(2) Applicants

One-person businessmen or independent businessmen who have employed less than 50 employees withtheir names on the certificate of business registration and the registered date is within past 5 years

  • Businesses that does not apply by the Employment Insurance Act (non-corporate farming, forestry,fishery, small construction, domestic services of less than 5 employees) and non-occupied ownerscannot apply
  • Independent businessmen who started business after 65 years of age can apply when limited toemployment stability·vocational ability development scheme

(3) Insurance Premiums and Unemployment Allowances

  • Insurance premium: selected base remuneration × insurance premium rate (employment stability·vocationalability development scheme: 0.25%, unemployment allowance: 2%)
  • unemployment allowance: selected base remuneration × 50%
Monthly insurance premium and job-seeking allowance based on the base remuneration
(Unit: KRW)
Monthly insurance premium and job-seeking allowance based on the base remuneration
Division1st grade2nd grade3rd grade4th grade5th grade6th grade7th grade
Base remuneration1,820,0002,080,0002,340,0002,600,0002,860,0003,120,0003,380,000
Monthly premium40,95046,85052,65058,50064,35070,20076,050
Monthly unemployment allowance910,0001,040,0001,170,0001,300,0001,430,0001,560,0001,690,000

(4) Benefits

  • (Unemployment allowance) grants assistance of 50% of selected base remuneration (KRW 91~169monthly) to job seekers for 90-180 days in case of unintentional shut-down and paid employmentinsurance for 24 months before shut-down.
DivisionPolicy Period (Insured Period)
1-3 years3-5 years5-10 yearsOver 10 years
Payment Period90 days120 days150 days180 days
  • (Vocational ability development) Supports training cost through Nae-il-bae-um Card System*
    • Nae-il-bae-um Card System: Supports partial training cost for one year starting the day of opening the account up to 2 million won
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