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S Korea allows 5 days of paternity leave under revised law

(Xinhua)

14:31, September 06, 2011

SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday passed a revised law that allows up to five days of paternity leave, an attempt to raise the country's low birth rate, the government said.

The country currently allows male employees to take three days of unpaid leave, but the revised law will allow three days of paid leave with two additional days of unpaid absence if necessary.

Employees can ask for reduced working hours during infancy, and employers could face penalty of 5 million won (4,666 U.S. dollars) if they reject the request without special reasons.

South Korea's birth rate, or the average number of babies born during a woman's lifetime, decreased to 1.15 in 2009 from 1.19 in 2008. The average for member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) currently stands at 1.64.

The population growth here has also been anemic, which can hurt South Korea's growth potential and fuel social costs associated with medical service for senior citizens.


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