Japan Panel Proposes New Child Care Leave System for Men

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 12 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese government panel on Thursday compiled a draft of a new leave scheme for men whose wives have just given birth.

A subcommittee of the Labor Policy Council, which advises the labor minister, proposed that men can take a total of about four weeks off during the eight-week post-childbirth leave period for their wives.

The husbands will be given an option to apply for the leave two weeks beforehand, on top of a month in advance under the current system, to make it easy to use the scheme. The government will submit a bill to revise related legislation to next year’s regular session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, based on discussions at the council.

After members from both the labor and management sides opposed making it mandatory for men to take leave under the new system, the subcommittee agreed on the concept that it is the “right” for men to use the system.

The current child care leave system allows workers regardless of sex to take leave until the child turns one year old, in principle. However, pressures in the workplace have discouraged men from using the system. According to a labor ministry survey for fiscal 2019, only 7.48 pct of men took the leave, far from the government’s goal of raising the proportion to 13 pct by 2020.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press