SEOUL, June 30 (Korea Bizwire) – To support employees caring for children aged fewer than eight, the government plans to improve its childcare subsidy policy by increasing payments and disbursing the funds earlier.
On June 29, the Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that it would increase subsidies to employers who grant a reduction in working hours for employees who take time off work to take care of their children.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-family Balance Assistance Act, a worker parenting his or her pre-school children (including adopted children) less than six years old can apply for a reduction in working hours, and employers should accept the request.
Currently, the government is offering 200,000 won for a SME worker and 100,000 won for a large company worker per month respectively for the loss caused by reduced working hours, and the government is set to raise the amount by 100,000 won per worker.
In addition, the ministry will pay one month of subsidy for employers who grant child-care leave for their employees a month after the childcare leave begins. The rest of the subsidy (up to 11 months) will be paid after the worker returns to work and keeps on working for more than six months, in a bid to guarantee job stability for the employee.
In the past, half of the subsidy was paid one month after the worker resumed his or her post and the remaining 50 percent was paid six months later.
The ministry will also eliminate subsidies to government agencies and public corporations, which already offer substantial child-care leave benefits.
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)