Japan plans new family initiatives to support non-regular workers

Non-regular workers, self-employed individuals, and freelancers with children may soon be eligible for a child-rearing allowance.
By: | January 13, 2023

To address the country’s chronically low birth rate, the Japanese government is considering creating a child-rearing allowance for non-regular workers, self-employed individuals, and freelancers.

The purpose of this new allowance is to reduce the economic burden on workers not covered by the country’s childcare leave system. To finance it, the government is looking to raise employment, medical or other social insurance premiums, reported The Japan Times.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aims to map out a framework by June to double the government’s budget for child-related measures, as part of his initiatives to implement the next steps to address the country’s low birth rate.

The creation of the new allowance will be among the specific proposals to be drawn up by a team of relevant ministries and agencies headed by Masanobu Ogura, Minister in charge of coping with Japan’s declining birth rate, by the end of March.

READ: Employees in Japan can choose to stay longer in the workforce

Last December, a government panel of experts tasked with building a social security system that benefits all generations released a report calling for the creation of a child-rearing allowance for non-regular workers and employees who choose to work shorter hours to take care of their children. Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary, has confirmed that the government will proceed with related efforts based on the report.