Family-friendly; Family-friendly Policy; Work-Family Conflict; Family Responsibilities; Work-Family Reconciliation Act; Family-Friendly Social Environment Act
법학논총. Vol. 28 No. 3 (2011) pg. 7, 25 p.
This paper aims mainly to introduce national regulations for family-friendly polices to reconciliate between work and family in Korea, focusing on comparative approach to International Labour Standards. Family-friendly issue, conflict between work and family responsibilities, has become a critical social, economic and political issue in many countries since 1970s in industrialized states or 1980s in developing countries, while Korean government treated it as one of national issues during last 10 years. The most important response of the international community to the work-family reconciliation issue was the adoption of [the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981(No. 156) and [the Workers with Family Responsibilities Recommendation, 1981(No. 165). The basic view and purpose of the Convention was stated in its article 3 as following; "With a view to creating effective equality of opportunity and treatment for men and women workers, each Member (State) shall make it an aim of national policy to enable persons with family responsibilities who are engaged or wish to engage in employment to exercise their right to do so without being subject to discrimination and, to the extent possible, without conflict between their employment and family responsibilities."(Article 3, para. 1) The main answer of Korean government to the work-family issue occurred in 2007, when it adopted two Acts in order to reduce the conflict between work and family responsibilities and to encourage or support family-friendly social environment; the 「Act on Equal Employment and Support for Work-Family Reconciliation」(21. Dec, 2007; hereafter ``Work-Family Reconciliation Act``) and 「Act on the Promotion of Creation of Family-friendly Social Environment」(14. Dec, 2007; hereafter ``Family-Friendly Social Environment Act``). The purpose of the Work-Family Reconciliation Act is "to contribute to improve the quality of life for all the people by providing support for the reconciliation of work and family life for workers."(among Article 1) In order to achieve the purpose, the Act provides numbers of measures that facilitate the reconciliation of work with family responsibilities as followings; public payment for maternity leave(Article 18), unpaid 3-day paternity leave(Article 19), unpaid parental leave for child care(Article 19), working hour reduction in child care period(Article 19-2) and prohibition of discrimination for a worker who has working hour reduction in child care period(Article 19-3), ability to use of divided child care leave and working hour reduction during child care leave(Article 19-4), other measures to support child care(Article 19-5), financial support for an employer who introduces a measure to support the reconciliation of work and family life for the worker concerned(Article 20), providing public service related to child care(Article 21-2), installation of public welfare facilities(Article 22), compassionate leave for family emergency(Article 22-2), and public fund for work-family reconciliation (Article 22-3). The purpose of the Family-Friendly Social Environment Act is "to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of nationals and the development of the State and society, by promoting the creation of a family-friendly social environment."(Article 1). In the Act, the "family-friendly social environment" means "an environment where members of society are able to harmonize works and family life, and the responsibility of raising children and supporting family can be shared at the social level", while the term "family-friendly working environment" means "a working environment where a family-friendly system helps workers to harmonize work and family life"(subsection 1 and 2 of Article 2), which includes systems for flexible working, supporting childbirth, child-care and education, supporting dependants, supporting workers(programs for health, education, counsel for workers), and other systems prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family(subsection 3 of Article 2). In order to secure the basic goal, the Act provides responsibilities of state(Article 3), local governments(Article 3) and employers(Article 4) to encourage or endeavor to create family-friendly working environment, such as the introduction and expansion of family- friendly systems.