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[Guest Report] Creating a family-focused company

Dec 27,2017
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An employee of KT&G currently on child-care leave plays with his children. KT&G supports work-life balance through its welfare policies such as paternity leave. [KT&G]
KT&G is leading the charge when it comes to maternity and child-care leave policies. The company has created an initiative to allow parents to freely take advantage of the policy.

Men are especially encouraged to take child-care leave. In 2016, 47 percent of those on leave from KT&G were men, making one out of two workers on child-care leave a man. In Korea, approximately 10 percent of employees on child-care leave are men. The total number of KT&G employees who took leave increased 147 percent, from 19 in 2014 to 47 in 2016.

KT&G began by increasing funds for child-care leave support. In the first year of the child-care leave policy, a million won was provided from the government in addition to a million won from the company.

In the second year, the company increased that amount to 2 million won. Additionally, the company extended child-care leave from 1 year to 2 years.

KT&G also introduced the “Automatic Maternity Leave System,” where child-care leave automatically begins after using 3 months of vacation time to give birth.

With maternity leave, a maximum of a year may be requested for leave from when a pregnancy is confirmed until birth. When child care and maternity leaves are used together, a maximum period of 3 years per child can be used.

The company has put in a great deal of effort to relieve the burden of work for employees returning from leave. KT&G has employees return to the same position that they held before the leave and their absence does not affect their personnel evaluations while they are away from the office.

By creating a family-friendly environment, KT&G was certified as a “Family-Friendly Top Company” by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in 2015, a “Leisure-Friendly Company” by the Ministry of Culture in 2016 and was rewarded for its workplace gender equality from the Ministry of Employment in June 2017.

“A happy family is the foundation of a desired workplace,” said an official at KT&G. “We will continue to strive for work-family balance through various welfare policies for our employees.”


BY KIM MIN-JI [kim.minji4@joongang.co.kr]