SEOUL, Mar. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — If working moms, hired as temporary workers in a company, skip work due to tasks that collide with taking care of their children, it cannot serve as basis for not hiring them as regular workers, according to a recent court decision.
The ruling comes as the Seoul Administrative Court, in a case where a highway management company was accused of firing an employee based on unjust grounds, pointed to the responsibility of the firm for failing to ensure the parent’s childcare rights.
The court has reflected the intent of the recently amended legislation on the promotion of female employment and protection of maternal rights, as well as the decision by the constitutional court accepting childcare as one of the fundamental rights.
Kim, a mother of two children, had been working at a local highway management agency as a temporary worker in 2017 before she was fired after missing work five times over a period of three months.
Based on her contract, she was obliged to work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., resting only on weekly holidays and May Day.
However, she failed to show up for work on Buddha’s Birthday, the day of the Presidential Elections, and Memorial Day.
Kim also stopped coming for periodic shifts, where employees have to come to work by 7 a.m.
For the first month of her work, the company allowed Kim to take her children to a daycare center on the day that she was supposed to come in early.
After skipping work on several occasions, however, the company told Kim that it would stop allowing her to take a leave of absence. Since then, Kim has been refusing to show up for her shift.
Kim has shown outstanding performance in most of the tasks, except for her working attitude, which eventually led to the company’s refusal to hire her as a regular employee.
“The company has failed to make any effort to ensure both work and family life for Kim, forcing her to choose between work and family,” the court said.
“The company is responsible for taking necessary measures to ensure that their employees can take care of their children, based on the legislative intent of the Gender Equality Employment Act.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)