Employees who are pregnant are eligible for maternity leave before or after childbirth.Parents can also take advantage of the childcare leave system (reduced working hoursduring infant care) when raising children under 6 years of age.
01 Maternity Leave Before or After Childbirth
- Any female employee working at a business with more than 1 worker regulated by the LaborStandard Act can request and go on maternity leave regardless of type of labor contract (permanentposition, temporary position, etc.)
(2) Period of maternity leave before or after childbirth
For regular deliveries, employees may apply for 90 days of leave around the due date or the date of childbirth.
Employees must use 45 days of the leave or more post delivery.
- ① When a worker has experienced an abortion or a stillbirth; ② when a worker is 40 years old or older; or③ when a worker has submitted a medical certificate of a medical organization documenting the risk of anabortion or a stillbirth, the worker may take the 44-day leave which is available before delivery at the earlystage of pregnancy.
Pre-birth and post-birth maternity leave is granted to employees of certain businesses; the leaveexpires if the employment contract expires during the leave.
- Women who give birth to two children or more at a time (twins, etc.) receive 120 days' perinatal maternityleave. The period of leave after delivery must be 60 days or longer.
(3) Wages during maternity leave before or after childbirth
- During perinatal maternity leave, perinatal maternity leave salary will be provided.
- Major corporations provide 100% of the employee's regular pay for the first 60 days, and theremaining 30 days are paid through unemployment insurance (maximum KRW 2 million per month)
- In the case of prioritized target businesses of support (small and medium-sized business), the salaryfor 90 days' leave will be paid by unemployment insurance (up to KRW 2 million per month), withthe company paying the difference between regular wages and perinatal maternity pay for the first60 days.
- Major conglomerates pay 100% of the regular wages for 75 days in the case of multiple births(twins, etc.); the salary for the remaining 45 days will be provided by the unemployment insurance(up to KRW 2 million per month). In case of small and medium-sized companies, the unemploymentinsurance provides perinatal maternity pay for 120 days (up to KRW 2 million per month).
(4) How to apply for wages during maternity leave before or after childbirth
Workers who intend to receive wages during maternity leave must get a confirmation documentfrom their company and submit it along with a maternity pay application to their local employmentcenter.
- Documents received from the company: confirmation of maternity leave, payroll, document thatcan confirm wages such as copy of employment contract, etc.
- Documents received from the homepage of the Ministry of Employment and Labor, orEmployment Center: application form for maternity leave
02 Miscarriage or Stillbirth Leave
- In principle, leave due to miscarriage or stillbirth is given only for natural miscarriages, and the periodof leave differs according to the term of the pregnancy.
- In accordance with the Labor Standards Law, a female employee who is employed by a businesswith one or more employees may apply for leave, regardless of her type of employment contract(regular workers and part-time workers).
(2) Duration of Stillbirth and Miscarriage Leave
Progressive protection leave is granted according to term of pregnancy at time of miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Within 11 weeks of pregnancy: up to 5 days of protection leave is granted from the date ofmiscarriage or stillbirth.
- 12-15 weeks of pregnancy: up to 10 days of protection leave is granted from the date of miscarriage or stillbirth.
- 16-21 weeks: 30 days from the date of stillbirth or miscarriage
- 22-27 weeks: 60 days from the date of stillbirth or miscarriage
- Week 28weeks~: 90 days from the date of stillbirth or miscarriage
(3) Allowances for Stillbirth and Miscarriage Leave
- The same standards are applied to allowances for stillbirth and miscarriage leave as those for maternity leave.
- Large corporations pay allowances for the initial 60 days of the leave, and the employment insurancepays allowances for the final 30 days of the leave (maximum KRW 2 million per month).
- For employees of small and medium-sized corporations, the employment insurance pays allowancesfor 90 days of the leave (maximum KRW 2 million per month).
(4) How to apply for wages during leave due to miscarriage or stillbirth
- Workers who intend to receive wages during the leave must get a confirmation document fromtheir company, and submit it along with an application leave and a copy of medical records of themiscarriage or stillbirth to their local employment center.
03 Parental Leave
Workers can take a leave of absence for a year to raise a child or children ages 8 or younger, or in thesecond grade of elementary school.
- Both male and female workers can apply for parental leave if they have worked for the same companyfor more than six months, and they have a child 8 years or younger in age, or in the second grade ofelementary school.
- Childcare leave is aimed at preventing male and female employees from quitting their jobs due tolack of childcare and to help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
(2) Duration of Childcare Leave
- The maximum duration of childcare leave is one year.
(3) Childcare Leave Allowance
- Maternity leave is not paid, however, to lessen the burden of filing the maternity and to take carethe child adequately living expenses, maternity leave salary is provided from the employmentinsurance.
- First 3 months: 80% of the monthly regular wage (maximum KRW 1,500,000, minimum KRW 700,000),next 9 months: 50% of the monthly regular wage (maximum KRW 1,200,000, minimum KRW 700,000)
- When both the mother and father take parental leave for the same child, 100% of the average monthly wageof the second user (usually father) will be the childcare allowance (maximum: KRW 2.5 million) (Childcare leavebonus system for the father).
- Other than childcare leave allowances, incentives are provided to employers (KRW 300,000 permonth for companies subject to preferential support) as well as alternative employment subsidies(KRW 800,000 per month (KRW 1,200,000 for takeover period, KRW 300,000 for large companies).
- Additional KRW 100,000 is given to companies subject to preferential support when an employee takes achildcare leave for the first time within the companies (Incentive No. 1)
(4) How to Apply for Childcare Leave Allowance
Submit your application for childcare leave allowance to the business proprietor 30 days prior to taking leave.
Workers who intend to receive allowances during childcare leave must get written confirmationfrom their company and submit it along with an application to their local employment center.
- Documents received from company: confirmation document for childcare leave, payroll documentthat can confirm wage such as employment contract (copy), etc.
- Documents received from homepage of the Ministry of Employment and Labor or EmploymentCenter: application form for childcare leave
04 Working Hour Reduction during Childcare Period
- Workers with children who are 8 years old or younger or in 2nd or lower grade of elementary schoolcan reduce their working hours to 15-30 hours per week during the childcare period.
- Both male and female workers can apply for reduced working hours if they have worked for thesame company for more than six months and have a child 8 years old or younger who has not yetentered elementary school.
- Reduction of working hours during the childcare period aims to improve employees’ work-lifebalance, ensure career stability and progression, increase company loyalty, and prevent a decline inthe quality of work.
(2) Usage period
- Reduced working hours can be applied for up to a year. However, if you have unused parental leaveperiod, you may add it to your reduced hours for up to two years.
(3) Wages during reduced hours for childcare
- During the working hour reduction period, wages are paid by business owner for correspondingworking hours, and reduced working hour allowances (1 hour per day: 100% of regular age(maximum KRW 2,000,000), rest of reduced hour wage: 80% of regular wage proportional toreduced hours) are paid from employment insurance.
- As in childcare leave, government incentives for childcare leave (KRW 300,000 per month (KRW100,000 for large companies)) and incentives for recruiting temporary employees (800,000 permonth (KRW 1,200,000 for takeover period, KRW 300,000 for large companies) are given toemployers to encourage the use of the reduced working hours benefit.
(4) How to apply for working hour reduction allowances during childcare period
Workers must apply for working hour reduction 30 days before the reduction in hours is applied.
Workers who intend to receive allowances during working hour reduction period must get writtenconfirmation from their company and submit it along with an allowance application to their localemployment center.
- Documents received from the company: confirmation document for working hour reductionduring childcare period, payroll documents that can confirm wage such as copy of employmentcontract, etc.
- Documents received from the homepage of the Ministry of Employment and Labor orEmployment Center: application form for working hour reduction allowances during childcareperiod
- When workers are pregnant, they can take a leave before or after childbirth. In addition, workers whohave a child (or children) ages 8 or younger, or are in the second grade of an elementary school or below,can take a parental leave (working hour reduction during child nurturing period).
05 Maternity Allowance for Those Who Do Not Have Employment Insurance
- Support for maternity allowance for ‘people with no employment insurance’ but earns incomes toprotect maternity and support for living after childbirth (Implemented on July 1, 2019) ( Applies tomarriage immigrants only)
One-person business operators, special employees, freelancers, and those who do not meet therequirement (180 days) for receiving employment insurance may receive benefits
- Independent, or joint businessmen who do not have employees (real estate brokers excluded)
- Workers in special employment and freelancers who have worked for more than three monthswithin the 18 months before childbirth
- Workers who do not have employment insurance
Workers who have subscribed to employment insurance but did not meet the requirement of ‘180days of employment insurance subscription’ for receiving maternity leave before and after childbirth
Workers of business to which employment insurance is not applied or workers to whom theEmployment Insurance Act is not applicable
Workers who are not subscribers of the employment insurance working at a business whereemployment insurance is not established
(3) Support Amount and Application Period
- Total of KRW 1,500,000 (KRW 500,000 monthly*3 months). You may apply from the day your childis born to within one year. The support will not be available if you do not apply within this period.
(4) How to apply for Maternity Allowance for Those Who Do Not Have Employment Insurance
- Those who wish to receive maternity allowance may register as a member at the EmploymentInsurance website (www.ei.go.kr) and apply or visit or mail the application to the employment centerat the place of your residence or work.
- Required documentation: birth certificate (certificate of family relationship), documents to proveincome, business registration, etc.
- The employment center may ask for additional verification other than required documents forpayment of the maternity allowance.
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