July 24 2019
Restricting family benefits to eldest sons and only daughters is an act of discrimination
- NHRCK recommends revision of a public corporation’s compensation policy -
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK, Chairperson Choi Young-ae) issued a recommendation that “public corporation A” revise its discriminatory compensation policy that provides family benefits to the eldest son or only daughter to care for their senior parents living in a different household.
An eldest daughter and second son working at the public corporation filed a complaint with the NHRCK, claiming that only the eldest son or only daughter is eligible to apply for benefits to care for their parents living separately.
In response to their complaint, the public corporation stated that it adopted a special clause offering family benefits to the eldest son or only daughter who bears the responsibility to care for their parents even when they live in separate homes.
The Committee on Discrimination Remedy of the NHRCK noted that the policy of restricting benefit payment to eldest sons and only daughters reflects traditional gender stereotypes and notion of male family headship and counts as an act of discrimination given changes in the attitude towards care for aging parents and sharing of responsibilities among children.
The NHRCK recommended that the public corporation amend its compensation policy to prevent discrimination of its employees based on gender or birth order in distribution of family benefits for the care of immediate family members.