The Winter Olympics in South Korea have got us thinking about working with people all over the world

Categories: Global HRGlobal Payroll | Published Date: 22 February 2018

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As the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea come to a close in a couple of days’ time, there is much to reflect upon. Here’s a round up of just a few things that we saw during the Games:

  • North and South Korea came out in front of the world as a united force during the opening ceremony and have competed together under the same flag
  • Red Gerard, an American snowboarder, overslept, lost his jacket, swore on live television AND won the USA’s first gold medal of the Games…all in the same day
  • Team GB’s Elise Christie powered on through what could well be the unluckiest speed skating week of all time
  • We saw the Finnish snowboarding team’s head coach, Antti Koskinen, knitting his anxieties away at the sideline as he waited for his athletes to compete
  • Japan’s 45 year old Noriaki Kasai made history by ski jumping in his eighth Winter Olympics

It’s certainly been eventful and the last few weeks have put South Korea at the geographical forefront of our year so far.

So, whilst we are all thinking about South Korea, we thought now would be an apt time to look at employment protocol in the East Asian country. Here are a few key facts that may well be different to how things are done in the country you are based in:

  • If a company has 10 or more employees, its working conditions need to be documented in a ‘Rules of Employment’, which in turn has to be filed with the Labor Authority
  • Established companies must pay employees a retirement allowance of 30 days average wage, as set by the Labor Standards Act. In this context, ‘retirement’ means the same as ‘severance’ – this should be paid in cash when employment is terminated, regardless of the reason
  • In regards to the State National Pension, 4.5% is contributed by the employee and 4.5% is contributed by the employer
  • If you work nights in Korea (10pm – 6pm) you receive time and a half. This also applies if you work on your day off
  • Tax in South Korea varies between 6% and 38%, dependent on income
  • Basic annual leave allowance is 15 days and the maximum is 25 days. For every two years of service after the first year, an extra day is awarded.

The world is getting smaller; it’s getting easier and more natural to work with people from all over the globe. This brings about many opportunities and allows you to employ staff with the different qualifications and experiences that come with a wider range of addresses.

But this does also bring its own set of challenges, namely knowing exactly how employment law and legislation works in countries other than your own. Everywhere has its own way of doing things, and this can even vary between different regions of the same country.

It is your responsibility as an international employer to be hot on the rules and regulations of every single country that you have staff in. Don’t let this task intimidate you; there are expert payroll services out there that can give you the peace of mind that you’re getting things right for all your staff, no matter where they are. This is the first step to having the happiest of employees.

And if you do happen to get a bit stressed about all of this, you could always take a leaf out of Antii Koskinen’s book and try some knitting to alleviate it! Either that or contact IRIS FMP and let us help  you with your international payroll requirements.

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