Effective from next year, the wage for parental leave for the fourth to 12th month will increase from up to 1.2 million to 1.5 million won. Also, when both parents take parental leave at the same time for the same child, the couple will receive up to 150 million won for three months. The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced on Tuesday that three bills, including the enforcement decree of the Act on Employment Insurance, had passed the cabinet meeting.
Parental leave allows workers with children aged under eight years (or second grade) to take paid leave up to one year for parenting purposes. Previously the wages varied depending on parental leave period. Eighty percent of ordinary wages were paid within the limit of 1.5 million won up to the first three months, and 50% of ordinary wages within the limit of 1.2 million won for the rest of the term.
From next year, employees on parental leave will be able to receive 80% of ordinary wages within the limit of 1.5 million won throughout the leave period, instead of just the first three months. Single parents will receive 100% of ordinary wages for the first three months within 2.5 million won and 80% of ordinary wages within 1.5 million won for the rest of the term.
A new program titled ‘3+3 parental leave’ will be introduced next year, where parents taking parental leave for three months respectively for a child under 12 months will be able to receive significantly larger parental leave wages. The wage per person will increase from up to 2 million won on the first month, 2.5 million won on the second month, 3 million won on the third month. This means that if both parents take leave off for three months, they will receive up to 15 million won.
The program is eligible for parents taking leave off the same time or parents alternating parental leave. Parents alternating leave will be able to receive the increased amount on the wage of the latter parent taking parental leave. It is applicable for parents with children born in 2021 – for example, a mother taking parental leave off this year and the father next year will be eligible for the program.