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Paternity leaves rare among male officials responsible for boosting birthrate
  • By Kwak Sung-sun
  • Published 2017.09.25 17:22
  • Updated 2017.09.25 17:50
  • comments 0

Only 2.8 percent of male officials at the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and its affiliated agencies responsible for raising birthrate took paternity leaves on average over the past three years.

It was the one-fifteenth level of the ratio of female officials taking maternity leaves, at 44.24 percent, indicating the urgent need for the government to come up with measures to reinvigorate paternity leave, a lawmaker said Monday.

Rep. Kim Kwang-soo김광수 of People’s Party released the data on the parental leave involving officials working at the ministry and its affiliated organizations, such as the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC)질병관리본부, National Pension Service (NPS)국민연금공단, National Health Insurance Service(NHIS)국민건강보험공단, and Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA)건강보험심사평가원.

According to the data, the ratio to use paternity leave was 1.85 percent (37 of 1,996 employees) in 2014, 2.96 percent (58 of 1,960) in 2015, and 2.66 percent (70 of 1,914) last year and the average rate was 2.81 percent (165 of 5,870 officials) over the previous three years.

By agency, the ministry showed 3.94 percent (15 of 381 officials) in 2014, 3.85 percent (15 of 390) in 2015, 3,76 percent (15 of 399) last year with the average rate standing at 3.85 percent (45 of 1,170).

KCDC showed 3.75 percent (three of 80 people) in 2015 and 2.74 percent (two of 73 people) last year with the average being 3.04 percent (seven of 230 people). NPS showed 1.34 percent (nine of 672) in 2014, 2.16 percent (15 of 696 people) in 2015, and 4.19 percent (29 of 692 people) last year with the average standing at 2.57 percent (53 of 2,060 people).

NHIS showed 0.97 percent (seven of 724 people) in 2014, 3.6 percent (24 of 666 people) in 2015, and 3.16 percent (19 of 602 people) last year with the average being 2.51 percent (50 of 1,992 people). HIRA showed 2.16 percent (three of 139 people) in 2014, 1.48 percent (two of 135 people) in 2015, and 3.47 percent (five of 144 people) last year, and the average rate was 2.39 percent (10 of 218 people).

“The use of paternity leave in the ministry dealing with low birthrate is only 3.85 percent, which shows the high barrier to making the most of the system,” Rep. Kim said. “The ministry and related organizations have to take measures to increase the rate but are ignoring to set an example in following the existing policies. It’s self-contraction.”

“The government invested more than 100 trillion won ($89 billion) for the past 10 years to boost low birthrate, but the situation hasn’t changed too much,” he went on to say. “Because this is an important issue to determine the fate of Korea, we will carefully examine the effectiveness of the birthrate policy during the parliamentary inspection.”

The government has announced policy packages every five years since 2006, realizing the seriousness of the low birthrate problem

It spent 19 trillion won in the first package, and 60 trillion won in the second one. When the 21.4 trillion won spent last year is added, the total amounts to 101.6 trillion won spent for this purpose.


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