Japan revises law to make paternity leave more accessible
Japan’s revised law, aimed at making paternity leave more accessible to working fathers, took effect on April 1.
The regulation obliges all companies to inform their employees of the paternity leave system, and confirm with to-be fathers whether they want to take the leave.
Japanese law grants both working parents 12 months of parental leave; however in reality, few men apply for such leave.
“It is meaningless just to act as if such a system exists [when no one is actually able to benefit from it],” a senior official at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare noted, according to Japan Times.
“Companies will now be required to create an atmosphere that encourages employees to take the leave. It is also important for top management, including the president and managers, to use the program and take child care leave,” added the official.
In April 2020, only 12.65% of fathers working for a company took child care leave, compared with 81.6% of mothers. The government aims to increase the percentage of men taking paternity leave to 30% by 2025.