Parents who work holiday this week get helping hand

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Parents who work holiday this week get helping hand

In preparation for the 4-day holiday starting on May 5, Children’s Day, members of the private and public sector have arranged various means to support working parents who won’t be able to take the day off work.

In the cabinet meeting on Thursday, where it was decided May 6 will become a temporary holiday, President Park Geun-hye said that the government should try its best to reduce any burden the holiday may bring to small or medium-sized companies, as well as parents who will be working during the holiday.

Starting from May 6, tolls on every highway, including private roads, will be exempted. Also, families of more than three people traveling via the KTX, Saemaeul or Mugunghwa trains will receive a 20 percent discount toward their tickets. To assist families in which both parents will be working on the holiday, the Ministry of Health and Welfare will assign teachers to daycare centers, and for parents whose children attend these facilities, the ministry will increase childcare subsidies on that day by 50 percent.

Starting from May 6, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family will offer childcare services for children under the age of 12 at the normal weekday price. To register for the service, go on idolbom.go.kr or call 1577-2514 before May 4. The financial sector also has various measures arranged for the holiday. The expiry dates of loans and deposits that are on May 6 will be automatically extended to May 9, the first day of work for financial institutions after the holiday. Also, during the extended period, no overdue interest rates will be attached to the loans, while agreed-upon interest rates will be added to deposits. Those who wish to make early withdrawals from their deposits can do so on May 4.

In addition, card, insurance and telecommunication bills scheduled to be withdrawn on May 6 will be done on May 9. Card companies will offer 3-month interest-free installment plans for customers who made purchases of at least 100,000 won ($87.30) in affiliated stores. Major department stores and discount chains have also planned various events in order to attract customers. Lotte, Hyundai and Shinsegae department stores, as well as E-Mart and Lotte Mart, will expand their lists of discounted products and the number of events arranged during the so-called family month of May.

“The spring shopping season, which used to be low, is slowly flowering again,” said Kim Hyeong-pyo, the director of Lotte Mart’s marketing department. “I hope the trend continues through the long holiday.”

The financial market, including stock and bond markets, banks and financial firms, will be closed.

“Those who need capital on May 6 to settle payments with other companies or for real-estate contracts should withdraw money beforehand or increase their transfer limits,” advised Lee Yoon-su, the director of the Financial Services Commission’s bank sector. To raise withdrawal limits for automated banking services or transfer limits for online and phone banking, one should visit nearby banks before the start of the holiday.

BY SUNG SI-YOON, HAN AE-RAN AND KWAK JAE-MIN [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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