Fathers to receive 10-day paid childbirth leave from October - The Korea Times
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Fathers to receive 10-day paid childbirth leave from October

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Mothers and children participate in a play session at a childcare support center in Busan in this February 2018 photo. The government has extended the period of childbirth leave for fathers from three days to 10 days as part of measures to stimulate the low birthrate in the country. Korea Times file
Mothers and children participate in a play session at a childcare support center in Busan in this February 2018 photo. The government has extended the period of childbirth leave for fathers from three days to 10 days as part of measures to stimulate the low birthrate in the country. Korea Times file

By Kim Hyun-bin

Male employees will be entitled to 10 days of paid leave after their partners give birth, up from the current three days, starting today, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, Monday.

The move is one of a number of new policies to help stimulate the low birthrate that is plaguing the nation. The measures focus on providing more infant care support for dual income families by extending the number of childbirth leave days for spouses and reducing work hours for parents for up to two years.

Fathers can apply for the leave before the baby turns 90 days old, also up from 30 days.

To reduce the financial burden on small- and mid-size companies, the ministry will cover the cost of five days of the husbands' 10-day leave.

A government survey in 2017 found that large companies with over 300 employees gave an average four days of leave for men, while small- to mid-size companies only offered an average three days.

"Despite policies aimed at reducing the infant care burden, women still bear a larger burden in childcare. The revision aims to vitalize men's participation in infant care," Vice Employment and Labor Minister Lim Seo-jung said.

Under the revised rules, parents will also be allowed to have shorter work hours.

Previously, parents could use childcare leave and reduced work hours for a combined one year. But now he or she can have up two years combined.

Any worker raising a child up to the second grade is eligible to apply.

In a related move, Rep. Maeng Sung-kyu of the Democratic Party of Korea submitted a bill to oblige male workers to use at least one month of childcare leave before the child turns three years old.


Kim Hyun-bin hyunbin@koreatimes.co.kr


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