|North Korean women participate in a government-led mass rally in Pyongyang in this Feb. 19 photo from the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency. Yonhap|
By Jung Da-min
Working women in North Korea can get 240 days of maternity leave before and after giving birth, according to the Tongil Voice, a pro-North Korea propaganda outlet, Tuesday.
The roughly eight-month-long leave is a part of the North's childbirth encouragement policies introduced in recent years as the country faces a low birthrate, estimated at less than two.
"Women receive 240 days of maternity leave ― 60 days before and 180 days after childbirth," according to an article by the outlet. "During this period, female workers receive prenatal and postnatal subsidies equal to 100 percent of their basic living expenses regardless of their length of service at work."
In South Korea, female workers can get 90 days of paid maternity leave before and right after giving birth, and can take another block of childcare leave, with a lower subsidy, afterward for up to a year.
The North Korean media said the workers could resume their careers at their previous workplace according to the relevant laws. It also said those who give birth to triplets, quadruplets or more are protected by special measures promulgated by the North Korean authorities.
"The state provides additional postpartum leave to women who give birth to several children at once, and if triplets or more are born, the parents are provided with clothes, baby blankets and milk products free of charge. The mother and children are provided with healthcare services from medical staffers until the children reach school age," the Tongil Voice said.
According to the article, female workers with three or more children under the age of 13 are also allowed to work for six hours a day, two hours less than the eight-hour basic workday in North Korea.