[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'I’d feel too self-conscious to use the system'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'I’d feel too self-conscious to use the system'

From July 4, a paid sick leave system will be introduced guaranteeing workers 60 percent of the minimum wage during the period they cannot work due to a qualifying illness. 
A paid sick leave system is already in place in all Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries except Korea and the United States.
The pilot project will go into effect for a year in Jongno District in central Seoul, Bucheon, Gyeonggi, Cheonan, South Chungcheong, Suncheon, South Jeolla, Pohang, North Gyeongsang and Changwon, South Gyeongsang. 
Individuals living in the six designated areas working in cooperative workplaces designated by local governments will be eligible to receive 43,960 ($34) won per day based on the current minimum wage. 
For the first phase of the pilot project, the government plans to divide the six designated areas into three different models and analyze the effects. Each model differs in terms of its coverage and salary standards, and has a waiting period of at least 3 to 14 days. However, no commission is given during this time period to avoid system abuse. For example, under Model 1, which has a 7-day waiting period, workers can receive sick pay when they have been unable to work for at least 8 days.  
“My sick leave got taken away when I asked if I could use my annual leave.”  
 “I’d feel too self-conscious to use the system.”  
“I think it’s more important for one to receive a salary even during parental leave so that they can sign up for parental leave without any worries.”
“This is easier said than done. Please, get a proper grasp of reality first.”  

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [lee.jungjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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