Japan Data

More than Half of Japan’s Male Public Servants Took Childcare Leave in Fiscal 2020

Family Work Gender and Sex

In fiscal 2020, for the first time more than 50% of eligible male national public servants in general positions took childcare leave in Japan.

According to a report by the National Personnel Authority, 5,084 national public servants in Japan working in general positions took childcare leave in fiscal 2020. Overall, there was an increase of 1,441 people taking leave compared to 2019 and of those, 1,411 were men. Moreover, the rate of men taking leave rose by 23.4 points from 28.0% in 2019 to 51.4% in 2020, surpassing the 50% mark for the first time.

Full-time national public servants can take periods of childcare leave up until their child is three years old, but in many cases men only use a limited number of days as a formality. The government began an initiative from fiscal 2020 to ensure all male employees with children took at least a one-month period of childcare leave. This was made more effective by linking the matter of subordinates taking childcare leave to the work evaluations that managers received, so that workers would not give up on implementing the leave due to concerns over who would take on their duties.

On average, men took a period of 1.8 months in childcare leave, while women took 16.6 months. With 73% of men taking a period of less than one month though, it means that women are still doing the vast majority of caring for infants.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta)

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