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Title A Study on Supporting Work-Family Reconciliation for Non-regular Female Workers
Editor Admin Data 2019.08.01 View 95
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A Study on Supporting Work-Family Reconciliation for Non-regular Female Workers


Wonjung Kim Research Fellow
Seoul Foundation of Women and Family

The purpose of this study was to examine work-family reconciliation among non-regular female workers in Seoul and propose measures the Seoul Metropolitan Government could take to improve their situation. We also hoped to draw implications for policies intended to raise the low birthrate. In South Korea, the percentage of non-regular workers (all workers who are not full-time employees on permanent contracts) among female workers is higher than that among men. The law excludes non-regular workers from maternity leave and parental leave benefits, and previous studies have shown that these women have irregular working hours, difficulty in drawing on workplace, family, and community resources for work-family reconciliation, and high economic instability. However, these issues have usually been overlooked in discussions on work-family reconciliation. Therefore, this study focused on these issues, examining the work-family reconciliation conditions of non-regular female workers and suggesting community-based policies that could be implemented by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. To do this, we surveyed 1,000 non-regular women workers who were raising children between the ages of 0 and 12 years old in Seoul, and we conducted interviews with 9 of them to find out about their working conditions, job changes, childcare activities, etc., in more detail. We found that non-regular female workers are balancing work and family by choosing non-regular jobs—especially part-time jobs. Many women would like to work more if circumstances permitted, but inevitably choose part-time jobs because they do not have access to full-time childcare. Also, despite their short working hours, many of them have difficulty in reconciling work and family because of the irregular and unsocial nature of these working hours. The fact that more than a quarter of those surveyed are working additional side jobs also shows their economic instability. In response, this study recommended that the Seoul Metropolitan Government finance the provision of maternity benefits to low-income non-regular workers, increase the number of daycare facilities that operate throughout the day, establish city-operated public daycare centers that are only open to the children of non-regular workers, and expand public after-school care facilities for elementary school students. Keyword: work-life balance, work-family reconciliation, part-time, non-regular workers, non-regular female workers in Seoul