South Korean Firms Offer Employees $75,000 to Have Kids

As the cost of raising a child increases, cultural norms change and larger issues emerge, more and more people are deciding not to have children. Although very personal and seemingly small in the grand scheme of things, this decision can have a huge impact on the future of a country—especially one like South Korea, where the current fertility rate of 0.78 is below than the 2.1 it needs to sustain its population. . That’s why some businesses in the country have recently upped the ante for their employees. Offers up to $75,000 in bonuses for those who choose to have children.

Booyoung Group and Ssangbangwool have announced their ambitious “birth programs” this year, according to The Korea Herald. Booyoung Group, a Seoul-based construction firm, declared it would give a $75,000 per-child bonus to employees with babies and Ssangbangwool, an underwear company, said it would offer employees $22,400 once they receive their first child, another $22,400 after their second and $30,000 after their third. Booyoung Group confirms that the benefit will be available to both women and men.

Booyoung Group Chairman Lee Joong-keun said the company offers “direct financial support” to its employees to help ease the financial burden of raising children, while Ssangbangwool noted that , “The low birth rate is an important task for our society to overcome. The company will take the responsibility and work hard to help the country to increase the fertility rate.”

Booyoung also noted that employees with three babies will be given the option to choose between receiving 300 million Korean won ($225,000) in cash or rental housing, if the government provides land for construction, he added in a company event on Monday.

As South Korea grapples with the complex challenges posed by its declining population, the proactive measures taken by Booyoung Group and Ssangbangwool are not the first, but certainly the most generous. On February 12, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered his administration to develop tax incentives and subsidies for companies that encourage their employees to have children. In South Korea’s capital, Seoul, municipal authorities continue to give $750 per month to parents with children until their babies turn one year old.

South Korea hopes that by prioritizing policies and initiatives that ease the financial burden of parenthood and creating a supportive environment for families, the country can lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future.

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