Japan pushes for higher take-up of paternity leave

While a record number of men took paternity leave in Japan last year, the figure still falls short of the government’s goal of reaching 30% by 2025.
By: | August 9, 2022

Close to 14% of workers in Japan took paternity leave last year, marking an increase of 1.32 percentage points year-on-year and was the highest ratio ever, according to the latest labour ministry data. However, the figure still falls short of the government’s aim of raising the ratio to 30% by 2025.

On the other hand, 85.1% of women who gave birth took childcare leave, registering an increase of 3.5 percentage points year-on-year.

Women also took longer time off, with 80.2% of those who took childcare leave doing so for 10 months or more. In comparison, 26.5% of men who took time off after their child was born took five to 14 days off, followed by 25%, who took less than five days off.

To further increase the ratio of employees taking paternity leave, small and mid-sized firms are key in encouraging their workers to take up such leave, said labour ministry officials, reports The Japan Times.

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Starting this October, fathers in Japan can take up to four weeks of paternity leave, within eight weeks of a child’s birth, and can also divide the leave into two periods.