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Parents who are simultaneously raising two or more children under the age of three may apply for Parental Leave Allowance separately and in succession. Last Modified:2015-03-19

The "Parental Leave Allowance" is a supplementary benefit that has been additionally incorporated into the Employment Insurance Act in accordance with the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, and has been effective since May 1, 2009. These laws have been stipulated to ensure that parents of both genders are guaranteed employment rights and the opportunity to maintain both work and family duties, and that all laborers under employment are at liberty to raise a family. Since the implementation of the Parental Leave Allowance, over 288,000 individuals have applied for subsidies as of late December, 2014. The number of applications submitted by male laborers continues to increase and has reached 17% of total applicants or 48,000 persons as of late December, 2014. It is evident that recent government policies which encourage male laborers to apply for "parental leave" and to care for their children are yielding significant results.

In an era where double income families are predominant, the Parental Leave Allowance system alleviates financial pressure for parents who take leave to care for newborn children. It is a viable solution for parents who must attend to work and family duties simultaneously, and encourages male participation in child rearing. If both parents of double income families wish to take parental leave to care for children under the age of three, they may apply for Parental Leave Allowance separately and in succession not only to receive subsidies that ensure financial stability, but also to increase the opportunity for both parents to personally participate in child rearing. Parental Leave Allowance is the ideal solution for parents who seek to achieve a balance between career and family.

The BLI states that individuals who participate in Employment Insurance according to the law, who have attained a minimum of one year of seniority, and who apply for parental leave according to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, shall be eligible to receive Parental Leave Allowances. For each child within the family, the duration for which allowances are granted shall not exceed six months. If parents of both genders are eligible for Parental Leave Allowances, they may apply separately and in succession and receive subsidies for up to twelve months per child. Parents of either gender raising two children under the age of three simultaneously may apply for Parental Leave Allowances separately and in succession. This means that if both parents of double income families are insured by Employment Insurance, are raising children under the age of three together, and are both eligible for application, they must apply for parental leave with their employers separately and in succession, and then apply for Parental Leave Allowance with the BLI. If the mother is reinstated after six months of allowance and the father chooses to apply for parental leave and receive six months of allowance, both parents may jointly receive up to one year of Parental Leave Allowance (Table 1); If both parents are simultaneously raising two children under the age of three, the mother may apply for Parental Leave Allowance for each child separately, which means that she may receive up to one year of allowance before being reinstated to her job. The father may then apply for parental leave and allowances for each child separately, which means that both parents may receive up to two years of subsidies jointly (Table 2).

Moreover, the BLI wishes to remind laborers that applications for Parental Leave Allowance do not have to be a full six months at a time before the other parent is eligible for application. Under the principle that parental leave for both parents do not overlap at any given time, laborers may apply for Parental Leave Allowance in segments that best coordinate with the nature of their jobs as well as their personal needs. 

Table 1: Husband and wife supporting 1 child under the age of 3

Applicant

Mother

Father

Duration of payment

2015/1/1~2015/6/30

2015/7/1~2015/12/31

Number of months

6 months

6 months

 

Table 2: Husband and wife supporting 2 children under the age of 3 simultaneously  

Applicant

Mother

Father

Applicant's Children

Child A

Child B

Child A

Child B

Duration of payment

2015/1/1~2015/12/31

2016/1/1~2016/12/31

Number of months

12 months

12 months

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