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file I have heard about part-time childcare program, can you help?

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1 week 2 days ago - 1 week 1 day ago #1399 by ESLwatch
ESLwatch created the topic: I have heard about part-time childcare program, can you help?
Question:
I have heard through a colleague that their is a part-time childcare program, is this true?

Answer:
From June 22, 2008 a worker can apply for shorter working hours program for childcare. From the same date, paternity leave is allowed to male employees who become a father. Also, workers can divide up the use of the one year period of childcare leave at least once. The following is a summary of the systems based on a press release of the Ministry of labor.

The Ministry of Labor recently announced that newly amended enforcement decree of the “Equal Employment Act” reflecting the above changes passed the cabinet meeting on May 27 and will be effective from June 22.

Shorter Working Hours Program for Childcare (Part-time Childcare Leave)


The existing childcare leave has not been widely adopted by companies as it had problems such as reduced income and discontinued career for workers and burden of cost to hire replacement workers during the leave for employers. The government introduced the new “shorter working hours program” or “part-time childcare leave” to tackle these problems.

The eligibility for and period of the program are the same as those for the existing childcare leave. A worker should have an infant aged three years or below and the total period of the program cannot exceed 1 year.

A worker who wants to use the program should submit an application with the name of the infant and the period of shortened working hours to the employer 30 days prior to the requested starting date of the program. If an employer does not accept the application, he/she should notify the worker of the reason in writing and have a consultation with the worker to find other options including full-time childcare leave.

When the program starts, the shortened working hours per week should be 15 hours or more and should not exceed 30 hours. An employer, in principle, cannot request a worker to work overtime during the part-time childcare. An exception is when a worker explicitly requests overtime work. In that case, a weekly overtime should not exceed 12 hours. An employer should not worsen working conditions of a worker who is under the part-time childcare leave just because of the fact that the worker is on childcare leave.

A negligence fine up to 5 million Won will be imposed to an employer for the following;

Failure to give a written notification to a worker about the reasons not to allow part-time childcare leave
Failure to have a consultation with a worker about options other than part-time childcare leave such as full-time childcare leave or others

The government will provide a subsidy for childcare (200,000 Won each month) and replacement employment (200,000 to 300,000 Won each month) to an employer who introduces part-time childcare leave to promote the program.

Divided Use of Childcare Leave

Under the previous system, a worker who already took childcare leave was not able to use childcare leave again for the same child.

Under the new system, a worker can divide both full-time and part-time childcare leave at least once or use the two systems alternately at least once. The possible combinations of full-time and part-time childcare leave as allowed by the law are as follows. No matter which method is used, the total period of childcare leave cannot exceed one year.

Full-time childcare leave used once
Part-time childcare leave used once
Divide the use of full-time childcare leave once
Divide the use of part-time childcare leave once
Full-time and part-time childcare leaves respectively once

Accordingly, a worker who already took childcare leave of less than one year before June 22 can apply for full-time or part-time childcare leave for the same child once more from June 22 as long as he/she has remaining period of childcare leave.

For example, a worker with a child born in January 1, 2008 can take a 5 months’ childcare leave from June 1, 2009 until October 31, 2009 and then later can take a 7 months’ childcare leave from March 1, 2010 until September 31, 2010.

Paternity Leave

The government introduced paternity leave as a mandatory system as an increasing number of male spouses need childcare leave with the spread of small families and also in consideration of the fact that many companies are allowing voluntary paternity leave through collective agreements or the rules of employment.

An employer should allow three days of paternity leave upon request from a worker whose spouse had a baby. The leave can be requested within 30 days from the birth of the child. A negligence fine of up to 5 million won will be imposed to an employer who does not allow paternity leave.

Related:
Applying for childcare leave through Employment Insurance, can you help?

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