By Nam Hyun-woo
|An infographic about Korea's childbirth allowance for non-full-time working women / Courtesy of the Ministry of Employment and Labor|
The Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission decided that the domestic labor office's dismissal of an application for childbirth allowance by a woman who became a naturalized Korean after giving birth was unfair.
The woman, whose identity was withheld, has been paying taxes here while working as a freelancer. Freelancers and other categories of non-full-time workers are not automatically covered by the country's employment insurance.
After the birth of her child, the woman obtained Korean nationality and applied for the childbirth allowance through the labor office, citing the country's program of providing 1.5 million won in childbirth allowances for non-full-time workers. But the labor office dismissed her application, because she was not a Korean citizen at the time of childbirth.
Since July 2019, Korea has been providing a childbirth allowance for freelancers, other types of employees or the self-employed who are not automatically covered by the government employment insurance program. The allowances are given to those who worked more than three months during an 18-month period before giving birth.
The commission said that the labor office's decision was unfair, as it only took her foreign nationality into account, and her Korean nationality after childbirth should have also been considered.
"The decision sets a precedent for expanding the range of rights and protections for women who gave birth amid the difficult economic situation stemming from COVID-19," an official at the commission said. "The decision will also play a role in stabilizing such women's lives."