SK Group adopts ‘automatic’ year of maternity leave

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SK Group adopts ‘automatic’ year of maternity leave

SK Group has unveiled a plan to nurture women employees as core leaders as part of an initiative to develop a female-friendly corporate culture.

The conglomerate that owns lucrative affiliates SK Telecom and SK Hynix said yesterday it has introduced a so-called “automatic maternity leave system” that allows all women employees to take an extra year after they give birth in addition to the three months of leave mandated by the government.

“Female employees can also choose to take the extra leave at a later date,” said an employee at SK Group. “The new measure takes effect immediately and any female employees whose maternity leave ends this month will benefit.”

Industry insiders said SK’s new maternity leave system contributes to the Park Geun-hye administration’s vision of a society where talented women don’t have to agonize about resuming their career after giving birth and don’t face a glass ceiling when they return to work.

SK Group is the second conglomerate to introduce open maternity leave after Lotte Group, which introduced a similar measure in September.

Korea’s No. 3 conglomerate said it will also add more day care centers for employees.

SK Engineering and Construction and SK Broadband will have new day care centers within the year.

“SK Group sees nurturing female leaders and fully utilizing the female workforce as key to strengthening competitiveness in the long run,” said Cho Don-hyun of SK Group’s talent development committee. “The group will continue rolling out support that is necessary to build a women-friendly corporate culture.”

SK Group is the first conglomerate to establish a 24-hour public day care center in cooperation with the Icheon city and Gyeonggi provincial governments in 2010. It will build another 24-hour day care center on land owned by SK Hynix in October.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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