More Korean fathers are taking paternity leave to care for their children. Some 2,300 men took time off for child care last year, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, up from a mere 2 in 2001. The figure was 819 in 2010.
The overall number of parents who took leaves of absence for child care also rose from 25 to 69,616 over the same period.
For the first five months of this year, a total of 31,043 salaried workers took childcare leave, 1,270 of whom were men.
The rise is mainly due to a policy change, according to the ministry. Until last year, parents were able to take leave only until their child was six years old. But the age limit was raised to include children in second grade and below.
Leave lasts a maximum of one year and those on leave can get the government's support for up to 40 percent of their salary, or a minimum of W500,000 and a maximum of W1 million (US$1=W1,012).