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News New law for flexible paternity leave


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Japan has enacted a new law that allows fathers to take four weeks of paternity leave within eight weeks after childbirth. That period can be divided into two parts. Great legislation, and I am curious to see how soon dads will hopefully use it without facing obstacles in their companies.

The scheme, expected to be launched in October next year, will also allow fathers to give shorter prior notice of their intention to take the leave to their employers -- from four weeks to two weeks. Up to 80 percent of their salary will be guaranteed through the child care leave benefits and exemption from social security premiums. Many fathers wish to take childcare leave right after their wives give birth, the time when mothers tend to suffer from postnatal depression, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. In fiscal 2019, only 7.48 percent of men working in the private sector took childcare leave, while 83.0 percent of women did so, it said. The government is now aiming to lift the ratio for men to 30 percent in 2025. Welfare experts say Japan leads the world in paid-leave provisions for fathers. But the nation's male-centered corporate culture, which favors those who put work before family, is blamed as a deterrent factor.

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