The Employment Contact

In English & Korean, it stipulates the conditions & responsibilities of your position.

To see an example of a public school contact, click here

  1. Duration - They are for a set period of 12 full months.
  2. Responsibilities - This section lays the ground work for what you are expected to do. Of primary expectation is that you - the teacher improve the conversational ability of their students. But how do you do that? This will include class preparation, lesson planning, developing the curriculum, tests & evaluations, attending meetings, extracurricular activities, assisting the Korean teachers & other duties designated by your employer, but always within the boundaries of your contract. If you have not taught English before, it's not as easy as you might think! If you don't already have one, it might be a good idea to take a TEFL/TESOL course. See here for a list of courses :
  3. Place of work - You can only teach English for your public school. Teaching private classes is illegal here in South Korea. Do it at your peril. If caught, you would lose your position.
  4. Working Hours - There are 22 classes per week. For an elementary class, each class is 40 minutes long. For middle & high, they are 50 minutes each. Since these are government positions, hours are standard - 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
  5. Salary & Overtime - The focal point for all. Salaries (& how they are determined) are as follows:
School Programs
Salary EPIK SMOE GEPIK Chungnam Gyeongnam
2.0m to 2.7m 2.0m to 2.5m 2.0m to 2.5m 2.2m to 2.7m 2.1m to 2.7m
Level Pay per month Bachelor Experience(b) Master(a) Certificate(c)
3 This level is only available for the Gyeongnam program
2 2.0m to 2.2m Yes(d) or Yes
2+(e) 2.1m to 2.3m Yes 1 year (f) or Yes or Yes
1 2.3m to 2.5m Yes 2 years and Yes or Yes
1+ 2.5m to 2.7m Yes 2 years as Level 1(g)

KEY : a - If Bachelor is in Education, then Master can be in any field. If Master is in Education, then Bachelor can be in any field. If either Bachelor or Master are not in Education, a CELTA, PGCE or TEFL/TESOL 100+hrs is required. b - Formal full-time classroom experience. c - *CELTA, PGCE or TEFL/TESOL 100+hrs. d - if Major is in Education then a teaching certificate is not required. e - if Master is in Education & Bachelor is in any discipline or Master is in any disciple & Bachelor is in Education then 1 year as Level 2 is not required. f - 1 year at Level 2 teaching for the same MOE / POE g- 2 years at Level 1 teaching for the same MOE / POE.

Lower boundaries are for metropolitan cities. Upper boundaries are for normal sized cities.

Additional monetary benefits may also apply to these positions (such as rural - 100k per month & also multiple school allowance- 100-150k per month.) The maximum that can be made in a government public school is 2.95m won per month.

The following are 2 examples to show how much a teacher would make under the following conditions :

1. Teacher has a Bachelor in Education & 2 years of experience
2. Teacher has a Bachelor in Art & 1 year of experience

In the first case, the teacher would be a level 1 teacher; who would make a basic salary of 2.3m-2.4m in a metropolitan city & 2.5m in a normal sized city. In the second case, the teacher would not be eligible & would need a TESOL / TEFL of at least 100hrs. You can still apply whilst you are getting your TESOL / TEFL and once you have your certificate you would become a level 2+.

This may be necessary to secure a public school. If you don't have one, you can still apply, but you should have completed this course 1 month prior to the date you would like to start employment.

Taking this course may also increase your salary given the above information and will certainly improve your level of competitiveness.

For information about the Seoul pay scale (SMOE) - please click here.

If you are unsure of your level, please contact us.

  1. Airfare - An entrance allowance of 1.3m & an exit allowance of 1.3m (total of 2.6m) is provided to all teachers.
    If your flight to Korea is less than 1.3m, you keep the difference. If it is more, you need to pay the extra.
    The entrance allowance is provided within 2 weeks of arrival (with the exception of Busan & Jeju positions.) The exit allowance is provided on completion of contract.
  2. Housing - A single, studio apartment. Rent free & includes a bed, table, chairs, TV, separate kitchen facilities, refrigerator, washing machine, separate bathroom with a western toilet & sometimes an air-conditioner. Utilities (electricity, gas & water) are not free & how much they cost depend on how much you use them. It can range between $50 to $150USD per month. Internet access (you must have your own computer / laptop) & cable tv are optional & run at about $30USD per month each.
  3. National pension. It represents 9% of your income. It is mandatory for you (unless you are South African, in which case, you are not required to contribute) & your school to contribute 50% each towards this amount. The American, Canadian & Australian governments have an agreement with the South Korean Government. The good thing is that you can get the entire 9% back once you complete your contract. To get that:

    1. Visit your local pension office
    2. Complete application form
    3. Provide your bank details in your home country
    4. Provide them proof that you are departing South Korea
    The process takes between 4-8 weeks.
    UK, Irish or New Zealand citizens do not have the same agreement. So, you will not be able to get a refund on your contributions once your contract is complete.
    For further information, click here.

    1. Visit your local pension office
    2. Complete application form
    3. Provide your bank details in your home country
    4. Provide them proof that you are departing South Korea
  4. Medical Insurance. It is also a compulsory deduction from your monthly salary. It is currently 7%, for which you are responsible for half of that & your employer is responsible for the other half.

    This insurance does not cover your expenses completely.

    If you are receiving treatment at a hospital as an in-patient, then you would be responsible for 20% of the total medical cost. The medical insurance would cover you for the rest.

    If you are visiting a doctor and/or paying for a prescription, then you would pay up to 3,000 won when the total cost is equal to or less than 15,000 won.

    If you are visiting a doctor and/or paying for a prescription, then you would pay up to 30% of the total medical costs if it is more than 15,000 won.

    These figures vary also depending on where you receive treatment.

    For further information, click here.
  5. Severance of one month salary paid on completion of contract to you - It is a requirement for all employers to pay a severance payment to all employees completing a 12 month contract. Any contract less than 12 months, the employer is under no legal obligation to provide anything in terms of a severance payment. It is equal to one full month's salary, only paid on completion of contract.
  6. Vacation - There are 26 working days paid vacation per year.
  7. National holidays - They are paid holidays.
Korean Holidays
2019 2020
January 1st Solar New Year January 1st Solar New Year
February 4th Lunar New Year January 24th Lunar New Year
February 5th Lunar New Year January 25th Lunar New Year
February 6th Lunar New Year January 27th Lunar New Year
March 1st Independence Movement Day March 1st Independence Movement Day
May 1st Labor Day 30th April Buddha's Birthday
May 5th Children's Day May 1st Labor Day
May 12th Buddha's Birthday May 5th Children's Day
June 6th Memorial Day June 6th Memorial Day
August 15th Liberation Day August 15th Liberation Day
September 12th Chuseok September 30th Chuseok
September 13th Chuseok October 1st Chuseok
September 14th Chuseok October 2nd Chuseok
October 3rd National Foundation Day October 3rd National Foundation Day
December 25th Christmas Day December 25th Christmas Day
  1. Sick pay - Unlike back in the west, Koreans work even though they are sick & quite often they expect the same from us. It's their culture, not ours. Doesn't mean that you are obliged to work, but your employer would expect it for small conditions such as a headache or a cold. Obviously, if it's serious then you can't work. For public schools, they recognize the importance of this aspect & provide 11 workings days of paid sick days.
  2. Special leave - In the unlikely event that something does happen to a loved one, the school gives consideration & provides for a short trip back home of 7 calendar days. Your employer would not provide for your transportation costs.
  3. Resignation & Termination - If you don't like your position, you can resign as long as you give 60 days' notice. Your employer can only terminate your contract with justifiable cause. This includes breaking the law, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, continuous unsatisfactory performance, continuously late for work or another justifiable reason. For the first 2, the employer can dismiss you with immediate effect. For the rest, your employer must give you 60 days notice.

We hope that this information has been able to answer the questions & / or issues that you may have. If not - let us know & click here. A consultant will get back to you as soon as possible.
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