SEOUL, July 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Some 75 percent of female public workers and public schoolteachers used childcare leave after having their first child, but less than half of their counterparts working at private companies did so, a study said Tuesday.
The gap was even wider between female workers hired in permanent positions (46.9 percent) and those working on temporary basis (1.9 percent), according to the study by the Korea institute for Health and Social Affairs.
The institute surveyed 788 women aged 15 to 49 who had their first childbirth after 2011. It found that 41.1 percent of them used maternity leave. The rate reaches 75 percent for public workers and teachers at public schools, and 66.7 percent for those working for state-invested institutions.
For women employed at private companies, the rate stops at 34.5 percent, the study showed.
The present law allows mothers up to 1 year leave to raise children. The women are entitled to 40 percent of their basic pay during the leave period and can receive up to 1 million won (US$870) as support money. The system, however, is available only at workplaces that are subscribed to state employment insurance, leaving many of the smaller and financially weak employers out of the loop.
The study showed that among women who continued to work after giving birth, 67.1 percent had used childcare leave.
The number of women using the system has risen over the years, starting at 5.3 percent before 2000 to 13.7 percent in 2001-2005 period, 24.7 percent in 2006-2010 and 41.1 percent in 2011-2015.
Maternity leave users were also increasing, the same study indicated, from 39.6 percent before 2000 to 47.2 percent in 2001-2005, 49.8 percent in 2006-2010 and 61.4 percent in 2011-2015.