SEOUL, May 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Despite the increasing number of Koreans receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, paid leave for vaccinations are something that small business employees, the self-employed and freelancers cannot afford.
They are being subject to another round of hardships, after they failed to enjoy the benefits of the previous work-at-home policies.
Last month, the government advised companies to provide paid leave to those who have received inoculations, if needed, without them having to submit a doctor’s note.
This measure, however, isn’t mandatory, leaving its implementation up to the discretion of business owners.
A 40-year-old gym owner surnamed Lee put his name on the vaccination list last month and recently received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“If I was an employee, I’d take a day off, but I couldn’t. I needed to get back to work to make money,” he said.
On the other hand, larger conglomerates including Samsung Electronics Co. are offering paid leave for those who get inoculated.
A bill that amends the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act to allow the government to subsidize the cost of paid leave for recipients of the vaccine is currently pending at the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee.
While the bill establishes a legal basis to offer subsidies to self-employed business owners and day laborers, the National Assembly is grappling with its significant pressure on the government budget.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)