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  “A is a contract public official in a small-medium sized city. She is a working mother. But there was no place that can take care of her baby. She had to wait 2 months to send her kid to the child care center. As there was no one who can take care of her baby during those 2 months, she had no choice but to request maternity leave. However, she could not even use the maternity leave. What she heard is that the contract public official is someone who is hired for special duties so it does not make sense if she leaves work for 2 months.”

 

  The Center for Freedom of Information (CFOI) has requested information disclosure to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security regarding the maternity leave usage of general public officials and contract public officials. According to the disclosed data, the number of cases that contract public officials used the maternity leave was far less than that of general public officials.

 

  Seeing at the number of cases, it is possible to observe that 5479 general public officials in 2010 and 6900 general public officials in 2011 used the maternity leave. As for technical public officials, 318 people in 2010 and 367 people in 2011 used the maternity leave. In contrast, only 19 of contract public officials in 2010 and 21 of contract public officials in 2011 used the maternity leave. As for the public officials in special services, there were 9 who used the maternity leave in 2010 and 2011.




 

  However, the above information, disclosed by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, is not efficient to observe the rate using maternity leave among entire public officials. The number of public officials per type of service has been found in the Korean Statistical Information Service and the comparison was made with the data disclosed by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

 

You can find this below.


 

 

Year

General Service

Contract Service

Technical Service

Special Service

Total

(Number of current  employees)

Maternity leave usage

Rate

Total

Maternity leave usage

Rate

Total

Maternity leave usage

Rate

Total

Maternity leave usage

Rate

2010

192,307

5151

2.6785%

3990

19

0.4762%

42,989

318

0.7397%

3455

9

0.2605%

2011

192,676

6503

3.3751%

4202

21

0.4998%

42,613

367

0.8612%

3479

9

0.2587%

 

  The public officials in general service use the maternity leave the most, followed by the public officials in technical service. The public officials in contract and special service have the lowest usage of the maternity leave.

 

  However, it is not possible to say that the use of the maternity leave in the general public officials is high. Only 3 % of the entire public officials used the maternity leave. As for the contract public officials, only 0.5% of them used it.

 



 

  The Article 63 of local public officials act allows to use the maternity leave in case it is needed to raise children under age 8 (When at school, same or below 2nd grade of the elementary school) or when female public officials get pregnant or give birth.

 

  Although it is clearly stated in the laws, the reality shows that the maternity leave is not properly used. The situation for the contract public officials is even worse. The public officials in contract service are an exception even in the world of public officials which is well known for its good stability and welfare system. What the private companies and small-sized organizations will be like when even public organizations are in such conditions?

 

  There should be no distinctions between men and women when it comes to child care. Also it is not like there is a classification between the contract service and general service in the standard of being parents. But in our society, there are more burdens of child care for women and more difficulties for the contract service.

 

  The reality seems distant from child care and nurturing. But the government is encouraging people to have more babies. This is an empty claim which is not realistic at all.

 

  Park, the presidential elect, has pledged to enhance womens maternity leave and introduce a fathers month to encourage mens paternity leave. Hopefully, the new government keeps the promise and the parents do not have to suffer heartache from raising children

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