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Japanese firms try to encourage paternity leave under new law

21 Comments
By Shiomi Takasago

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In Japan, the percentage of fathers taking such leave has remained low, hovering between near zero and single digits for decades

Many Japanese company still have concept of paternity leave is strange, some employee even need to go to court to get their position before paternity leave.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/canadian-father-sues-japan-firm-paternity-leave-harassment-855666

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-fathers-paternity-leave-sue-asics-a9105041.html

2 ( +8 / -6 )

seeks to increase fathers' engagement in child-rearing with the enforcement of a new law.

I think if the government was serious about father's engagement in child rearing, it should pass several other laws, especially concerning what happens after separation/divorce. Sorry to go way off topic.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

But what awaited him was a string of eye-opening experiences that made him realize the importance of spending time with his family. For this, he has no regrets.

That is to be expected, paternity leave is a basic necessity that greatly improves the lives of all the members of the family, so those that experience it obviously can talk about its benefits.

The problem is that as long as this is an exception the co-workers and bosses will not understand it, sending an e-mail encouraging the leave but following it with another that puts pressure on everybody to "increase their short term goals" for example would spoil the whole thing,

6 ( +9 / -3 )

My J company promotes telework for work life balance.

In addition of days off, it is easy to do some telework when having a kid

11 ( +12 / -1 )

My J company promotes telework for work life balance.

I envy you!

In addition of days off, it is easy to do some telework when having a kid

absolutely

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Only in the topsy-turvy, back to front world of Japan do you have to convince people to take time off work

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Junji Saito, a 44-year-old company employee with five children, the youngest a 2-year-old, is among them.

Saito said he had mostly left child-rearing to his wife until one day she, then pregnant with their fifth child, told him, "I'll die if things stay this way." Shocked by her words, he explained, "It wasn't a time to be working."

He couldn’t figure this out before the wife made a comment?

Also…..snip snip and take a hint.

> Firms in Japan are trying to create a welcoming atmosphere for their male employees to take paternity leave

Well the workers need time after work to actually create a baby first.

That’s a task in itself when you have workers come in on Saturdays and stay beyond 10 pm on weeekdays.

From the start of this month, all companies must notify their employees, including men, about child-rearing leave and ask them whether they intend to use it.

Or…….the companies could make paternity leave mandatory and tell TANAKA that he will stay at home for the next six months, no argument.

Of course he would automatically only receive 69% of his regular income, but that’s “besides the point.”

Japan will NEVER “get” this whole child rearing thing isn’t a “woman’s” job, will they?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

But what awaited him was a string of eye-opening experiences that made him realize the importance of spending time with his family. For this, he has no regrets.

It's good he finally pulled away the wool over his eyes. Fathers should have the right to spend as much time with their child as possible to bond with them; and to also be active in child rearing. The concept that it's "a woman's job" is far too prevalent in Japan. Hopefully this new law will help make healthy the unbalanced and somewhat dysfunctional family dynamics that run rampant in Japan. As for the company's boss and employees not being 100% behind men who take paternity leave - you twats can sod off.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Many jobs it can't be done, Construction workers, When you have deadline to make or lose money, You need every experience person you can get that knows the job, Engineers that are working on a project, Crane operators, just can't go out and get a new one and the fire him afterwards. Not everything is office workers.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

It isn't always feasible to be away from work for so long but also in many cases it is entirely feasible. The problem is that the Japanese work culture is about the appearances and many people who could take at least a few weeks of end up taking no break at all to show that they "care" about their work and their co-workers. It might make sense to make the leave mandatory for 5 to 10 years for certain office roles and company sizes to take the burden away from the workers and start normalizing it in the workplace.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The article did no even care to explain what is pzternity leave in Japan.

What are the rules ?

What salary do you still earn ?

Up to how long can you leave ?

Do company get reduced taxes for the inconvenient ?

Anyway the example of that man with 5 children is one out of a million. In the thousands of Japanese I met, never heard of a family with 5 in recents days (up to 4 actually).

I would not be happy to leave for a year at all. A month or days off scattered in first years would be best. That is why enough chosen holidays are necessary.

Most Japanese put work ahead of family as for priorities alas as showed through the article. Future is still grim for the relationship between kids and their fathers on average. Incentives should be far stronger.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

So, it's law, but they don't have to follow it? Surprise surprise. Must be one of those "quasi" laws.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The words - Woman or Female or Mother are not present anywhere in the entire article !

Where do they think babies come from ?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

single digits for decades until it rose to 12.65 percent in 2020, in an apparent sign of changing attitudes.

Probably corresponds to a certain pandemic rather than a change in attitudes.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

any people who could take at least a few weeks of end up taking no break at all to show that they "care" about their work and their co-workers

Which is hilarious because your work, your bosses, and even the majority of your co-workers don't care about you. When someone leaves a job do people mourn? No, they get over it in a day and hire someone else.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The words - Woman or Female or Mother are not present anywhere in the entire article !

Where do they think babies come from ?

"Birthing people" lol

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

We have it at my company, which is a foreign company operating here under Japanese management.

I don't know a single person who has ever taken it. My coworker had a baby recently and he didn't even see meet his child until a few days after he was born.

To the company's credit, it has been a huge HR push to get people to take paid time off, maternity leave, and paternity leave, but people just...don't. They would probably be thrilled if people actually tried to take paternity. Most people take the bare minimum paid time off each year that is legally required and the rest goes to waste.

Short of actually mandating it, I am not sure how you change the culture.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Every time someone takes maternity leave in my wife's company, the rest have to increase their workload to compensate.

Now we will be having the same for paternity leave.

And "NO" temp staff is no a viable solution, first is the need to train a temp staffer to do the job, second it increases the demand for temp workers which if anyone that has ever been one can tell you it means low pay, poor working conditions, unstable live and multiple labour abuse.

So then what? Hire some poor idiot that you plan on firing once the other person returns?

Nope the solution is nearly always that the other workers end up with more work at no extra pay.

Hey guess what! I had children, I chose to have children, I didn't expect that the world would top and give me any special treatment because I chose to have children.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I recommend that they let us use some of our nenkin for the paternity leave. Then people would be able to use some of their money before they die and companies won't have to shoulder the burden. Why should they when the government's holding on to all of our money, like they're even better than a bank.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LOL employer announces firms encourages paternity leave under new law to workers but the mind set is. If I take off work who is going to do my work? Or I feel sorry because I caused my coworkers to work more. Yes the law will be there but the question is how many workers will take it without feeling the guilt of causing their coworkers to take on more work?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Maybe they simply prefer office work to changing nappies. The office may be their comfort zone. How many Japanese men feel confident about parenting? Do they do the taking-care-of-the-sack-of-flour lifeskills lesson in Japanese schools etc? Are there parenting classes for salarymen before the birth? That may be more use than just sending them home to watch TV and feel out of their depth after it.

As inflation rockets, companies will be looking to find ways to 'lose' employees. That will make staff more nervous about taking time off, allowing the company to realise that they can function quite happily without them.

I wonder what new Japanese mums think about paternity leave. Helpful, or having two helpless people to worry about. Surely they should have some input here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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