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Number of fathers taking childcare leave expected to hit 10,000 this year

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Jul. 17, 2017


< Rising trend in the number of fathers taking childcare leave >


The number of male workers taking childcare leave (i.e. parental leave) in the private sector was 5,101 in the first half of 2017, up 52.1% compared to the same period last year. If this trend continues, the number of male childcare leave takers is expected to hit 10,000 in 2017.


According to findings released by the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) on July 20th, as of the end of June 2017, the number of male childcare leave takers stood at 5,101, up 52.1% from a year ago, and their proportion among all 44,860 childcare leave takers reached 11.3%, up 4%p from 7.4% a year ago.  


* The number of childcare leave takers totaled 45,204 in the first half of 2016, of which 3,353 or 7.4% were male.


In particular, the continuing increase in men's share* of all childcare leave takers is thought to be due to the government's policy of actively encouraging fathers to take childcare leave,

such as the "parental leave bonus scheme", which has been in force since October 2014, and fathers' growing sense of responsibility towards co-parenting.  


* Men's proportion among all childcare leave takers: 3.3% in 2013 → 5.6% in 2015 → 7.4% in Jun. 2016 → 11.3% in Jun. 2017


< Incentive for men to take childcare leave: "parental leave bonus scheme" >


The "parental leave bonus scheme (called 'Father's Month')" is a special childcare leave benefit policy created to encourage the take-up of childcare leave among fathers.


If both parents take childcare leave successively to look after the same child, the second childcare leave taker (mostly fathers) is paid higher childcare leave benefits equivalent to 100% of his/her ordinary wage (but not exceeding 1.5 million won in the case of first-born children and 2 million won in the case of second-born children and beyond) for the first three months of his/her childcare leave.


The number of people using the bonus scheme was 2,052 (of which 1,817 were male) in the first half of 2017, up 81.4% from 1,131 in the same period last year.


The maximum amount of childcare leave benefits paid under the bonus scheme was raised to 2 million won in the case of second-born children and beyond on July 1st 2017, easing the financial burden on fathers who worry about a decline in their income when they take childcare leave. This is expected to further promote the use of childcare leave among fathers. 


Moreover, in order to strengthen support for parents during their childbirth or childcare period and promote a culture of shared parenting, MOEL will raise the level of childcare leave benefits for the first three months of childcare leave for both parents through a supplementary budget in the second half of 2017. (income replacement rate: 40% → 80%, maximum amount: 1 million won → 1.5 million won, minimum amount: 500,000 won → 700,000 won).


< Launch of an online parenting support platform for fathers, 'Papanet' >


Meanwhile, MOEL will set up an online parenting support platform for fathers (called 'Papanet') in August to strengthen government-level support aimed at resolving the psychological difficulties fathers experience while applying for parental leave or participating in child care. 


Papanet will function as a medium that provides integrated information on the government's various parenting support programs, including the psychological stability support program for fathers. 


▴ Childcare counseling program (Ministry of Health and Welfare: online counseling provided by specialists through the pregnancy and child care portal)

▴ Parenting training program(Ministry of Gender Equality and Family: father training program offered by the Healthy Family Support Center)                         

▴ how to use the parental leave system and fathers' essays about their child care experience

Kim Kyung-seon, Director-General of the Youth and Women's Employment Policy Bureau, said, "The recent rapid increase in the number of fathers taking childcare leave is thanks in part to institutional support, such as the parental leave bonus scheme, but it also seems to reflect the shift in views on shared parenting among the younger generation."


She said, "As well as expanding the institutional support, the government will conduct a culture improvement campaign and strengthen inspections to prevent workers from failing to take childcare leave because of implicit pressure from their companies."


* Ten suggestions for work innovation: ① leave work on time, ② refrain from making work-related calls after hours, ③ improve concentration at work, ④ smart meeting, ⑤ give clear work instructions, ⑥ flexible work, ⑦ smart reporting, ⑧ create a sound company dinner culture, ⑨ promote the use of annual leave, ⑩ managers should lead by example

Last Modifide Date   :   Tue August 8, 2017
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