SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — In order to overcome the low birthrate, which has become a serious problem, government ministries and agencies have come up with a series of measures.
A pilot project will be launched in some parts of the country to provide a government subsidy when expectant mothers purchase eco-friendly agricultural products.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Thursday selected areas subject to the “expectant mother eco-friendly agricultural support pilot project” that will support 45,000 people with a budget of 22 billion won (US$18.9 million).
North Chungcheong Province and Jeju Island were selected for the pilot project. At the city level, Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, and Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province were chosen.
Pregnant women who are interested in eco-friendly agricultural products will be provided with eco-friendly farm products worth 480,000 won (US$413) a year once or twice a month in the form of packages.
Meanwhile, measures were also taken to support companies, which will reduce the burden on their bottom line.
Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting approved a revision to the Enforcement Decree of the Employment Insurance Act, which includes expanding the scope of support for the “assistance for alternative workforce when on childbirth and childcare” system.
The subsidy for alternative workforce for childbirth and childcare is an initiative that provides financial support to companies so that they can give maternity leave to workers and hire replacement workers.
Under the current enforcement ordinance, employers do not receive subsidies if they allow the same replacement workers to work during the shorter working hours of pregnant workers and the consecutive maternity leave.
The revision of the enforcement ordinance, however, will allow companies to receive subsidies even if they continue to employ replacement workers who were hired when they shortened their working hours during a series of maternity leaves.
Next year, the government will pay 800,000 won per month to help small and medium-sized companies with an additional workforce of 1.2 million won per month and 300,000 won per month to large companies.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)