SEOUL, Jun. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) has announced plans to introduce housework vouchers in the hopes of reducing the burden of childcare on working mothers.
The housework vouchers, which are modeled after similar policies implemented in Europe, are set to be introduced as early as 2019 after lawmakers take a vote on the new measure for working mothers.
According to the proposal from the MOEL, mothers working for major companies will be eligible for childcare support in the form of vouchers that can be used to receive housework services from private firms specializing in the field.
To encourage more companies to get on board, the MOEL is in talks with other government departments to offer incentives such as tax relief to participating companies.
In order to boost the housework services industry, the government will create an environment where government-approved service providers will hire domestic workers and connect them with working mothers.
As working mothers previously have had to hire helpers through housekeeping agencies and sign contracts on their own with private workers, the government’s new move is expected to reduce conflicts between domestic workers and working mothers while improving the quality of services.
The MOEL will also ensure the rights of domestic workers by requiring domestic service providers to enroll their workers in the national pension plan and health and unemployment insurances.
In addition, domestic workers who work over 624 hours within a year will be entitled to claim six paid days off, while those who worked over 117 hours within three months will be given a day off.
The MOEL’s proposed reforms come in the wake of calls for protection of the rights of domestic workers.
Last month, domestic workers and members of the Young Women’s Christian Association held a protest in central Seoul to raise awareness of their poorly upheld rights and call for reforms to protect their right to work.
“If the reforms are passed, they will provide significant help to working mothers, and will be a significant step towards protecting the rights of domestic workers,” a MOEL official said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)