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90-Day Paid Maternity Leave to be Covered by Employment Insurance

90-Day Paid Maternity Leave to be Covered by Employment Insurance

Posted April. 21, 2005 23:11,   


The government and the ruling Uri Party agreed on the introduction of 90-day paid maternity leaves to be entirely financed by Employment Insurance (EI) and the government budget. This plan will start from the year 2006.

Given the monthly limit on paid maternity leave (1.35 million won), women are entitled to a maximum of roughly four million won per childbirth.

Moreover, in the cases of miscarriage and stillbirth, female workers, regardless of the size of the workplace, are entitled to 45-day paid maternity leave from 2006, which will also be completely financed by Employment Insurance.

Vice Minister of Planning and Budget Jang Byeong-wan, Vice Minister of Labor Chung Byung-suk, and Chief of the Uri Party Policy Committee Won Hye-young held a party-government consultative conference and confirmed the “Plan for the Improvement of Paid Maternity Leave.” This plan will be reflected in the revised bills of the Employment Insurance Act, Labor Standard Act, and Gender Equality Employment Act.

The plan will be implemented in small and medium-sized companies (less than 300 workers) starting from 2006 and large companies (more than 300 workers) from 2008. The amount of funds necessary to finance this plan in its first year (2006) is roughly 110 billion won and an additional 90 billion won is further required in the year 2008. Under the current law, employers are responsible for the 60-day payment and EI for the 30-day payment. In 2004, the total of amount that fell to the lot of EI was roughly 41.6 billion won.

“I believe that if the government covers the entire financial burden of paid maternity leave, non-regular female workers, who account for 70 percent of the entire female workforce, would enjoy more chances to be employed as regular workers and, at the same time, we can help tackle declining childbirth rate problems,” said Lee Mok-hee, Chairman of the 5th Policy Coordination Committee of the Uri Party, adding, “Most of the payment will be covered by EI and the rest of it will be supported by the government budget.”

“In terms of miscarriage and stillbirth, female workers must present written diagnoses that prove their misfortunes are not the result of abortion in order to be entitled to a paid maternity leave,” said Lee.

In-Jik Cho cij1999@donga.com