Pro-family SMEs offered financial incentives

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Pro-family SMEs offered financial incentives

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Cho Yoon-sun

Small and medium-sized companies that offer a family-friendly working environment to employees will be offered various financial incentives and government favors, according to Cho Yoon-sun, the minister of gender equality and family yesterday.

“SMEs that create a family-friendly workplace will receive a favorable interest rate [when receiving loans] and be granted with additional points when taking part in government tenders,” Cho said yesterday.

“They will also receive more support from the government when building child care centers at their workplace.”

Cho’s comments were made in a speech at a forum put together by the Korea Productivity Center at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel in central Seoul. The forum was attended by 150 chief executives of SMEs.

As a follow-up measure, the gender equality ministry is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding today with Woori Bank at its headquarters in Hoehyeon-dong, central Seoul.

According to the ministry, SMEs that have obtained certificates proving them to be family-friendly workplaces or those that obtain certificates in the future will receive discounts of up to 1 percent on interest rates on loans from Woori Bank. They will also receive free consulting services for risk management.

Since 2008, the ministry has been issuing such certificates to private and public companies including SMEs and large companies. So far, a total of 253 companies and institutions have obtained such certificates, of which 76 are small-size and 29 are midsize companies.

“Our standard is based on various criteria including the overall duty system and child care support system, and if a company or institution receives a high score, it will be authorized with a certificate,” said an official from the ministry. The move is part of efforts to increase the country’s low birthrate and boost the overall employment rate to 70 percent over the next five years. The rate was 65.1 percent as of June.


BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]
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