South Korea is facing a huge demographic crisis (as is Japan) due to the fact that younger Koreans, for various reasons, aren’t making babies. And the South Korean government is struggling to make workplaces more baby-friendly, in the form of enforced maternity leave:
“Once the revised law is passed by the National Assembly, the public health insurance system will start sharing information on female employees’ pregnancy and childbirth information with the Labor Ministry. The ministry will start an investigation if an employer of a pregnant worker doesn’t report a paid maternity leave.
Until now, the government was only able to crack down on employers that violated the act when the employees themselves complained that they were forced out of a company for becoming pregnant or were denied maternity leave. Some women in that situation didn’t know they could complain, and others feared retribution from the employer.
‘With the revision, the government hopes to protect pregnant workers’ rights by making employers live up to their legal obligations,” said Na Young-don, director general of the youth and women’s employment policy division at the ministry.'”
The Korean attitude has tended to be that once a woman was pregnant with her first child, she was expected to give up her career and become a full-time housewife. So this is good news but like many attempts by the Korean government to increase the birth-rate it probably won’t amount to much. Obviously it’s a step in the right direction.
Of course, the situation is even worse in America.