Japan adopts new bill for more flexible paternity leave
The Japanese government has adopted a new bill on Friday for a more flexible paternity leave, which would allow fathers to take parental leave for up to four weeks, within eight weeks of the birth of their child.
The bill to revise the related laws in childcare and family care leave is aimed at encouraging participation for fathers in bringing up their children, thereby supporting their wives, which would allow the continued employment of women.
Japan’s current paternity leave regulation requires fathers to apply for the break a month in advance, while the new law would reduce this to just two weeks before.
With the revision, fathers can take leave in two batches, and will receive employment insurance benefits equivalent to 67% of their pre-leave wages.
In 2020, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi made headlines when he announced that he would take parental leave for two weeks, spread over a window of three months.
The practice is uncommon in the country, with only 3% of fathers taking time off when their children are born, based on OECD estimates. By 2025, the government aims to increase the percentage of men taking paternity leave to 30%.