NATIONAL

Companies fail to provide mandatory child care

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  • Published : Sept 25, 2011 - 20:03
  • Updated : Sept 25, 2011 - 20:03
More than a fifth of the nation’s biggest corporations were found to have neglected to provide some form of day care to its employees’ infants as required by law, a government report said Sunday.

According to a report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 22 of the top 100 corporations failed to provide either day care facilities or an allowance to cover least half the total cost of child care.

Overall, the situation was much bleaker, according to the findings submitted to the National Assembly: 236 businesses out of a total 576 failed to provide its employees with childcare services.

According to the law, companies with at least 300 female employees or 500 regular employees mush provide child care facilities.

The government also provides aid of up to 300 million won ($257,000) for corporations to build their own facilities or provides loans of up to 700 million won to purchase or rent daycare facilities.

“Employers show unwillingness to provide daycare citing lack of budget, manpower or difficulty in procuring space as reasons,” said a ministry official.

“Although it is mandatory to provide such facilities, there is no way to penalize those who fail to comply,” he added.

Adding to the problem is the number of facilities with questions posed over the safety of care.

According to a report by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, over 1,000 children are involved in accidents at child care facilities every year.

In 2010, there were 1,301 accidents involving bumping into edges and corners. Closely following were accidents involving infants tripping over door frames and other objects.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)