The Korea Herald


S. Korean firms to allow up to 6 days leave for infertility treatment

By Choi Jeong-yoon

Published : June 7, 2024 - 17:30

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South Korea has announced plans to double the upper threshold for the number of vacation days eligible for infertility treatment from three to six, in a move to create an equal working environment for men and women.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announced Friday it reviewed basic plans for gender equality policies for 2023 and sought new measures to implement for 2024 at the 17th Gender Equality Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.

As part of these initiatives, the ministry will amend existing laws to expand leave for fertility treatments and a partner's delivery, aiming to foster a gender-equal working environment.

The expansion of fertility leave comes after the National Human Rights Commission of Korea recommended changes following a case where a female employee was denied leave for fertility treatment due to a lack of internal regulations at her company.

In related developments, the National Gender Equality Index saw a slight improvement in 2022, reaching 65.7 out of 100, edging up by 0.2 point from the previous year.

Despite this progress, women's representation in leadership and political roles remained low. The decision-making category, reflecting women's leadership presence, scored the lowest at 30.7 points, on a scale of 0 to 100.

The 2022 report also indicated a 0.6-point decline in female National Assembly members and an 18.5-point drop in female ministers compared to 2021.

In the meantime, the government aims to expand the nationwide safety system for child care and encourage more workplaces to support work-life balance for their employees.

To further bolster the child care safety net, after-school programs will be implemented in all elementary schools nationwide starting in the second semester of this year. The number of households receiving child care services will increase from 86,000 to 110,000, with families having two or more children eligible for an additional 10 percent support for the expenses they spend on child care.

The government also aims to add about 400 companies certified as "family-friendly" this year, bringing the number of such companies implementing family-friendly policies internally to 6,300 by year-end.