Number of South Korean workers taking parental leave falls
The number of South Korean workers who took parental leave last year fell for the first time since the system was first introduced in 2001, according to official data.
Some 110,555 workers took time off to care for their children last year, down 1.3% from 2020’s figure of 112,040, labour ministry data showed. The fall in numbers was attributed to the increase in parental leave taken in 2020 when schools and kindergartens closed due to COVID-19, leaving parents with no choice but to care for their kids at home.
However, despite the overall decline, the number of men who took paternity leave rose by 5.9% to 29,041. Male workers taking parental leave accounted for 26.3% of the total, up 1.8 percentage points from the previous year.
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In South Korea, workers who have children younger than eight years, or below the second grade of elementary school, are entitled to apply for a maximum one year of maternity or paternity leave, writes Yonhap news