Twelve out of 100 workers in Seoul earn less than the legally mandated minimum wage of W4,860 an hour (US$1=W1,058), a survey by the Seoul Metropolitan Government finds.
The city looked at the earnings of staff in 1,789 small businesses with less than 10 employees such as convenience stores, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and gas stations last year.
Only 63.4 percent of the part-time workers actually have a contract, which is mandatory regardless of the hours of work required, and 35.8 percent said they do not get any breaks during working hours.
According to the Labor Standards Act, people working for four to eight hours must be given 30 minutes of break time, and those working eight hours or more are entitled to one hour of rest.
Working conditions are especially bad in convenience stores, which hire many students as part-time staff. Some 35.3 percent of their part-time workers earned less than the minimum wage last year, and 41.7 percent did not get paid for overtime.