More than 30% of Japanese dads take parental leave

The ratio of eligible male workers who took childcare leave in fiscal 2020 exceeded 30% in 42 of the country’s 100 leading companies.
By: | January 11, 2022

This was according to a recent Asahi Shimbun survey, which also showed that the ratio topped 70% in 20 of these companies.

This was in line with the government’s goal of raising the proportion nationwide from the 12.65% in a 2020 labour ministry survey to 30% by 2025.

The survey, conducted during the second half of November, asked participating companies what percentage of eligible male employees took childcare leave in fiscal 2020 and how many days they took on average.

Despite the high percentage of eligible working fathers who took parental leave, at some top businesses, however, the average duration of parental leave totaled only several days in each case.

By industry, the findings showed that, although the ratio exceeded 90% in the financial sector, the number of days parental leave taken tended to be fewer – at less than 10 days on average.

Conversely, though the ratio was low in the manufacturing sector – in many cases below 20% or in single digits, more than half of the 30 companies with average leave durations of 30 days saw working fathers taking more days of childcare leave.

Starting in 2022, amendments to the law on childcare and family care leave will take effect in stages to nudge more fathers to take parental leave.

READ: Companies in Japan urged to innovate by business groups

Businesses will be obligated from this April to check with their staff of both sexes, who have given notice of an imminent birth or pregnancy, whether they intend to take childcare leave on a case-by-case basis.

And from October, fathers can take up to four weeks of paternity leave immediately after the birth of their children.