What is EPS?

    The EPS (Employment Permit System) is a system by which the Korean Government (Ministry of Employment and Labor, MOEL) allows domestic medium and small-sized companies suffering from a shortage of human resources to legally recruit foreign workers. It is especially for such companies in the industrial fields of medium and small-sized manufacturing, construction, agriculture/livestock, fishery, and services to hire foreign workers for their less skilled jobs.

    Korea’s MOEL and the governments of the sending countries stipulate the basic points in an MOU for sharing human resources, and public authorities of each country shall take the responsibility in selecting and dispatching these workers.

    1. Employment Management for Migrant Workers
      • Migrant workers may work in Korea for 3 years.
        However, an additional period of less than 2 years may be allowed when employers agree (only one time).
      • Foreign workers’ changing work site is permitted limitedly.
        • In principle, migrant workers shall continue working in their original work sites.
        • During a 3-year period, only 3 changes will be allowed.
        • However, when it is deemed that a normal labor relationship is not expected for reasons such as suspension or closing of business, a change will be permitted on approval from the MOEL.
      • Any employer who illegally employs migrant workers is limited from recruiting foreign workers for a certain period. (1 year or 3 years)
    2. Rights Protection by Korean Regulations
      • Like Korean workers, the basic rights of migrant workers will be also protected by Korean labor-related regulations such as the Labor Standard Act, Minimum Wage Act, and Industrial Safety and Health Law.
      • Additionally, to protect foreign workers’ rights, subscriptions for Due Emigration Insurance, Wage Guarantee Surety Insurance, Return Cost Insurance, Accident Insurance are mandatory.
    3. Prevention of Illegal Immigrants
      • We have a legal and systematic structure for foreign employment, and put continuous and strong controls over illegal immigrants.
      • We focus on punishment of employers, and any illegal recruitment opportunity will be blocked.

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