A South Korean company is offering to pay its employees a $75,000 bonus every time they have a baby.
Booyoung Group, headquartered in Seoul, intends to award employees 100 million Korean won ($75,000) for each childbirth, as stated in a press release on Monday. Additionally, the company plans to disburse a total of 7 billion Korean won ($5.25 million) in cash to employees who have welcomed 70 babies since 2021.
This benefit is open to both male and female employees, a spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
With a fertility rate of 0.78 in 2022, South Korea boasts the world’s lowest fertility rate, indicating the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime. Official projections from Statistics Korea anticipate a further decline to 0.65 by 2025.
These statistics highlight the demographic challenge faced by South Korea and other East Asian nations as their populations age rapidly following their rapid industrialization.
While many European countries confront aging populations, immigration helps to mitigate the pace and impact of demographic changes. Conversely, countries like South Korea, Japan, and China have been reluctant to embrace mass immigration as a solution to their declining working-age populations.
Booyoung Group’s initiatives and chairman’s vision
Booyoung Group’s Chairman Lee Joong-keun emphasized that the company aims to provide “direct financial assistance” to its employees to alleviate the financial strain of raising children.
Employees with three children will have the option to receive either 300 million Korean won ($225,000) in cash or rental housing, provided the government allocates land for construction, Lee announced during a company event on Monday.
“I hope that people will recognize us as a company that contributes to encouraging births and cares about the country’s future,” Lee expressed to his employees.
Established in 1983, Booyoung Group has constructed over 270,000 homes, according to its website.
While the South Korean government and other private entities already offer financial incentives to promote higher birth rates, none match the scale of Booyoung Group’s offerings. Similar initiatives are also present in China, which has experienced a two-year consecutive decline in its population.
Last year, China’s Trip.com, one of the globe’s largest online travel agencies, announced that employees with at least three years of tenure would receive an annual bonus of 10,000 yuan ($1,376) for each newborn child until the child turns five years old.