[KS] Special Leave

D.K. Prendergast dkp20 at hermes.cam.ac.uk
Tue Jan 8 09:49:42 EST 2002

Dear members,

I am currently writing a chapter on modern Korean funerals and have a
little question I am hoping some of you might be able to help me
with. In the small number of modern employment contracts I have seen in
Korea, there is usually some kind of special leave for workers who are
getting married or who lose a family member through death. Here is an
example of a contract I saw in 2000.

Article 16 (Special leave) (1) Employee may take a Special Leave for a
number of days as set forth below for each of the following events:
1. Seven (7) calendar days for Employee's marriage.
2. Seven (7) calendar days for the death of Employee's parent or spouse;
five (5) calendar days for the death of Employee's child.
3. In case of a female Employee, sixty (60) calendar days for a maternity

(2) Special Leaves specified in items (1) 1 and 2 are available with pay.
However, maternity leave shall be available without pay.

I am wondering whether this provision is made for most employment
contracts nowadays in Korea, and whether it remains common for an
employee to get seven days of leave for the death of a parent / spouse in
comparison to five days for a child? Perhaps those of you who have had
contracts could let me know if it applied to yours? Indeed I was wondering
if some version of this is now a requirement under Korean labor law? I
remember reading something about this in the past but it escapes me. I
looked through the VERY outdated Korean law books I have at hand, and
found nothing.

If it was introduced, I would be most interested in finding out when and
the discussion that went on behind it.

All the best,

David Prendergast.

David Prendergast
Ph.D Candidate
Dept. of Social Anthropology
University of Cambridge
Free School Lane
Cambridge CB2 3RF
Tel: ++44 (0)1353 727175

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