If you’re a manager in South Korea you might find yourself working closer with your hiring department to keep your team well staffed. This might be due to a cultural shift of more and more Korean men taking taking paternity leave to stay at home with their newborn children.
In the first half of 2015 the number of men who took paternity leave in Korea shot up 40.6 percent over the previous year going from 1,573 to 2,212, according to numbers released by the Ministry of Employment.
The numbers also showed a rise to 5.1 percent from 4.2 percent in the ratio of men taking long-term leave –marking the first time the male ratio exceeded the 5% level.
South Korea ranks around the middle of the pack internationally for laws requiring either paid leave or protected leave for parents of newborn children.
Though still a small number compared to women staying at home, it is part of an increasing trend of men going against traditional gender roles to participate in newborn care.
Overall, the number of parents staying taking leave has risen, going from 37,373 last year to 43,272 year on year.
Companies with 300 or more employees made up 55.7 percent of total males taking paternity leave while the share of females taking maternity leave in large companies was 47.7 percent.
For smaller companies, where the financial pressure is greater, the ministry has crafted programs to help workers with children reduce their work hours rather than taking extended leaves.
The number of those who applied for these programs rose to 992 for the first half of this year, up from 516 for the same period the year before.
According to research by the Pew Institute, South Korea ranks around the middle of the pack internationally for laws requiring either paid leave or protected leave for parents of newborn children.
Estonia ranks the highest, with the United States coming in at dead last.