Minimum Wage System

Scope of Application

※ Reference: 「Minimum Wage Act」 Article 3

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Exemption of Minimum wage

※ Reference: 「Minimum Wage Act」 Article 7

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Cases that can be determined differently from the Minimum wage

※ Reference: 「Minimum Wage Act」 Article 5 and 「Enforcement Decree of the Minimum Wage Act」 Article 3

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Determination of minimum wage

Process of minimum wage deliberation and determination

※ Reference: 「Minimum Wage Act」 Article 4

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Determination unit and wage elements included

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 Wages other than those paid in a currency
② Wages other than those paid for the contractual working hours or the contractual working days
③ ㉠ 15% of bonuses(paid monthly) based on the monthly conversion amount of the minimum wage
     ㉡ 3% of the wages for living subsidy or welfare(such as food, accommodation, and transportation expenses) based on the monthly conversion amount of the
         minimum wage
      >> The part exceeding the above amount(㉠, ㉡) shall be calculated as a minimum wage.
      >> Reduce the ratio not included in the minimum wage over the next 4 years

※ Reference: 「Minimum Wage Act」 Article 5, 6 and 「Enforcement Decree of the Minimum Wage Act」 Article 2

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Employer’s obligations and penalty provisions

※ Reference: 「Minimum Wage Act」 Article 6, 11, 28, 30 and 「Enforcement Decree of the Minimum Wage Act」 Article 11, 22

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Minimum wage by year

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

Secretariat
Year Minimum
wage rate(₩)
Increase(%) No. of
workers
covered
No. of
beneficiary
workers
Influence rate
2021.1~2021.12 Hourly 8,720
(Monthly 1,822,480)
1.5 20,559 4,077 19.8
2020.1~2020.12 Hourly 8,590
(Monthly 1,795,310)
2.9 20,045 4,153 20.7
2019.1~2019.12 Hourly 8,350
(Monthly 1,745,150)
10.9 20,006 5,005 25
2018.1~2018.12 Hourly 7,530
(Monthly 1,573,770)
16.4 19,627 4,625 23.6
2017.1~2017.12 Hourly 6,470
(Monthly 1,352,230)
7.3 19,312 3,366 17.4
2016.1~2016.12 Hourly 6,030
(Monthly 1,260,270)
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.

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