Working and Business > Teaching in Korea

Termination of Contract - Dismissal


Termination of Contract - ...

Some employers will terminate an English Instructors contract early - sometimes for cause but also, in some cases, to avoid paying Severance Pay or for a host of other non-warranted reasons. This is refered to as 'Unfair Dismissal'.

Procedures for Dismissal of an Employee
The Labor Standards Act describes the steps that must be followed before an employer can dismiss an employee and these apply to foreign and local employees equally. For more specific details, you can contact the MOEL (see contact details below).
Basically, termination must be preceded by verbal and then written warnings. During this period, the employer is expected to make additional training available to the employee and other assistance to enable her/him to improve his/her performance to the employer's satisfaction. If such procedures have not been followed, the termination may be deemed to be 'unfair'.

Unfair Dismissal Ruling
If ministry officials (labor board/commission, etc) determine that the employee was unfairly dismissed, s/he may be reinstated (get her/his job back) or receive monetary compensation.

Letter of Termination and Letter of Release
If your contract is terminated early, your employment is required by law to give you a Letter of Termination in which the reason the employment contract was terminated is clearly stated.
Immigration also requires that you obtain a Letter of Release from your employer before you can begin a new position (or get another visa). Best to ask your employer for the Letter of Release when you receive the Letter of Termination.

Your employer is supposed to advise Immigration of your 'Change of Employment Status' within 2 weeks (14 days) of the termination of your contract. Should your employer fail to do so, you can report her/him to the Investigations Unit of the Department of Immigration. (If the link isn't working, type "immigration' in the search box above). 

Also, should your employer refuse to give you either a Letter of Termination or Letter of Release, you can advise the Ministry of Employment and Labor. The MOEL does not look favourably upon employers who do not provide the letters. This can be helpful if you are pursuing an Unfair Dismissal claim.

Editor's Note: The information above is based on the information K4E has available at the time of writing. Given how difficult it is to obtain clear and complete information in Korea as well as how quickly rules can change, please see this as a guide and do follow-up with the appropriate Korean government bodies to confirm its accuracy and/or to get the most current answers. K4E would appreciate your feedback should you find out that our information is out-of-date.

Ministry of Employment and Labor Consultation Center  - there's a hot line for foreign employees and another for foreign employers.
Phone Counselling service is available Monday thru Friday between 9:00 AM and 6:00PM
Foreign Workers can call: 031-345-5000 (from outside Korea 82-31-345-500)
Foreign Employers can call: 031-345-5200 (from outside Korea 82-31-345-5200).
The International Cooperation Bureau (according to the MOEL website provides information on the MOEL homepage and policies. Tel: 02-2110-7436/7445 (82-2-21100-7436/7445) or email: molab506@moel.go.kr
For more information on the Employment Permit System, you can contact the Foreign Workforce Policy Division at 02-2110-7198 (82-2-2110-7198)

Editor's Note: The information above is based on the information K4E has available at the time of writing. Given how difficult it is to obtain clear and complete information in Korea as well as how quickly rules can change, please see this as a guide and do follow-up with the appropriate Korean government bodies to confirm its accuracy and/or to get the most current answers. K4E

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Last Updated on 2011-04-06


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