SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of private sector employees taking paternity leave surged by nearly 47 percent last year, government data showed Wednesday, amid a societywide campaign to promote a work-life balance.
According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, 17,662 male private sector employees took parental leave in 2018, up 46.7 percent from 12,042 employees in the previous year.
The number of private sector employees on paternity leave stood at merely 502 as recently as 2009 but has since rapidly increased. Civil servants and teachers who are not covered by the employment insurance were not included in the ministry’s paternity leave data.
Ministry officials said the government’s campaign for work-life balance, a changing social atmosphere and an increased income replacement rate have all combined to raise the number of employees taking paternity leave.
By corporate size, the number of employees on paternity leave at businesses with more than 300 employees rose 37.1 percent on-year to 10,335 last year.
At businesses with 100 to 300 employees, the number surged 79.6 percent to 2,441, while 1,750 cases of paternity leave, up 59.5 percent, were reported from businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
The culture of paternity leave is rapidly spreading particularly among small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 300 employees, the ministry officials said.
Meanwhile, the total number of people taking private sector parental leave, including women on maternity leave, increased 10.1 percent on-year to 99,199 last year, the ministry noted.