Employees in Japan take more paid leave in 2022

Amidst progress in Japan’s workforce taking more paid leave, challenges loom as the government aims for a 70% utilisation rate by 2025.
By: | November 28, 2023

Private-sector employees in Japan used more of their paid leave in 2022 than in any other year on record, reaching 62.1% on average, or 10.9 out of 17.6 days of time off they were entitled to. This marks an increase from the previous year when the take-up rate was 58.3%.

Despite this progress, challenges persist as the government strives for a 70% utilisation rate by 2025. The survey, conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, highlighted that larger organisations, with 1,000 employees or more, showed a higher utilisation rate of 65.6% compared to smaller organisations with 30 to 99 employees at 57.1%.

Industry-wise variations were evident, with organisations offering multiple services, such as post offices, leading in paid leave utilisation at 74.8%, while the food and accommodation services industry lagged behind at 49.1%.

The survey also shed light on the government’s push for the “work-interval system”, setting standard hours between workdays. Despite the goal of having 15% or more of organisations adopt this system by 2025, only 6% of organisations had implemented it, indicating room for improvement in aligning with government targets, reported The Japan Times.

READ MORE: Japan struggles to address work-life balance issues

This latest data builds upon the findings of a separate survey conducted by Expedia in April, which ranked Japan second-to-last, ahead of only the US, in an international comparison of paid leave utilisation. The survey covered 16 countries and regions, emphasising the global context of Japan’s ongoing efforts to reshape its work culture.