Maternity benefits to be offered to 2 new groupsTwo categories of women workers will be eligible for maternity pay for the first time.
The pay will be 500,000 won ($431.34) per month for three months.
Until now, only women workers subscribing to employment insurance were able to receive maternity pay, so freelance and independent female workers were not eligible for employment insurance.
Starting next month, women freelancers and single-person business operators will be able to receive maternity pay, the Ministry of Employment and Labor said Sunday.
The support will be given regardless of the workers’ income level and the government will be covering the fees.
These workers face difficulties making ends meet when they stop working due to pregnancies, the ministry explained.
To get the benefits, the workers must prove they operate single-person businesses by showing their business licenses. They must not have a co-founder or hire employees.
As for freelancers, they have to prove they have been working and earning income for at least three months out of the past 18 before giving birth.
However, if the workers stopped working before they gave birth, they cannot receive the support. The government said the policy is for women still at work.
The maternity benefit will be given at 30 days, 60 days and 90 days after giving childbirth.
The government estimated roughly 25,000 workers will be eligible for the new policy in the latter half of this year.
It will earmark some 37.5 billion won for the benefits.
Workers will be eligible even if their baby is stillborn or in cases of miscarriages.
In those cases, government funds will be offered according to the period of pregnancy.
BY KIM JEE-HEE, KIM KI-CHAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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