More employees in South Korea took parental leave in 2021

Fathers who took parental leave account for 24.1%, up 1.5 percentage points from the previous year, reflecting changes in social norms.
By: | December 23, 2022

More South Korean employees took parental leave last year, rising 1% in 2021 from a year earlier, showed government data.

Last year, a total of 173,631 employees took parental leave to care for their children last year, up 1,682 from 2020, according to Statistics Korea data. Women accounted for 75.9% of employees who took parental leave, far outnumbering their male counterparts.

The proportion of fathers on parental leave rose 1.5 percentage points year-on-year to 24.1%, reflecting the change in social norms. Back in 2010, male employees comprised 2.7% of the workforce who utilised parental leave, reported Yonhap News Agency.

Among mothers, those between the ages of 30 and 34 took most parental leave, accounting for 40% of the total. For males, those between the ages of 35 and 39 took up 41.8%.

READ: More women in South Korea choosing to leave the workforce

South Korea’s regulation stipulates that people with children under the age of 9, or below the third grade of elementary school are entitled to apply for a year of maternity or paternity leave.

Aimed at tackling the country’s low birth rate, the government also provides financial support to those with employment insurance who sign up for parental leave.