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'Pregnancy order' rule among nursery workers stirs controversy

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39 Comments
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That's stupid

17 ( +17 / -0 )

There REALLY needs to be better data on this before making a blanket statement that makes it sound like it's a nation wide problem.

I also get the feeling that things are taken out of context, particularly when workers themselves came up with the idea.

Can't blame these folks for the reason why the population is shrinking! Sounds like they WANT kids!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

To that end the government envisions increasing the slots for children to be accepted by 320,000 by that time. This will require 77,000 more childcare workers.

Meaning a ratio of about 4:1, the government is dreaming here! Go take a look at just about any daycare, and tell me just how many have even close to that ratio.

Not to mention that the wages suck big time!

Nursery workers' monthly salaries, however, average 222,900 yen ($2,000), compared with 304,300 yen for all industries.

Maybe the folks who teach English in the JHS and ES should take a look at this as an employment option, at least the one's down here in Okinawa, and should start applying for these positions!

Better pay, more stable income, and still have the opportunity to "teach". Hell the kids would pick up English a lot faster

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Maybe the folks who teach English in the JHS and ES should take a look at this as an employment option, at least the one's down here in Okinawa, and should start applying for these positions!

This would only wirk for women.

Men rarely work in daycare. And even if they want, a lot of parents have problems with men taking care of their children.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nursery workers' monthly salaries, however, average 222,900 yen ($2,000), compared with 304,300 yen for all industries.

Not so different from the average ALT. Absolutely awful.

Meaning a ratio of about 4:1, the government is dreaming here!

No they're not. Abe is fond of making pledges he has absolutely NO intention of keeping. Same old same old, my friend.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Illegal and selfish from the company.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

How about building more nurseries? Might help

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Men rarely work in daycare. And even if they want, a lot of parents have problems with men taking care of their children.

While it's not commonly thought of as a "man's" job, there is an ever increasing number of men that are in fact working in child development. It's not as rare as you may believe.

Not so different from the average ALT. Absolutely awful.

It's actually higher than what a majority of ALT's get down here, they are typically paid around ¥12,000 a day, and no more than 200 or so days a year not to mention that if these jobs are full time, no contracts, stability, health insurance, and bonuses as well.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"We should take the rotation system as a warning from the ailing workplace and should work out measures to tackle the problem," she said.

This is the type of bland statement that we can read everyday.

The answers to this problem are

employ more staff, so when someone is off for ANY reason there are staff to cover.

This will reduce the workload and burnout.

raise the remuneration , so staff will stay in the workplace longer and female staff will.return after pregnancy.

BUT these remedies create problems in themselves.

It is just too expensive to implement the solutions, so the problem will be ongoing or even become worse.

In many countries where these solutions are the norm, childcare has become unbelievably expensive and is increasing yearly with no end in site for the cost increases.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Regarding the story, yes it is harassment. I'll also add that parents have absolutely no right to complain about staff changing. Some people think they are so entitled.

Regarding the average salary mentioned, like Japanese men's and women's average salaries which 70% do not get, the majority will be below the figure in the article. It will be bumped up by long timers on traditional full (seiki) contracts. Any nursery staff joining now will likely be on termporary (hiseiki) contracts with much lower pay and fewer benefits.

Regarding the shortages in places and staff, the shortages are almost all for places for mimanji, kids under three who do not have structured classes. The staff ratio for mimanji will be around one to four. For babies, its about one to two. This is why there are shortages. The private sector would only be able step in if the same subsidies public childcare get were available. The service is far too expensive for ordinary people to pay anything like full price.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

women must wait their turn to become pregnant to avoid staffing shortages resulting from multiple workers taking maternity or childcare leave at the same time.

And Japan is concerned about why the birth rate is so low? Its reasons like this and many other reasons. Who are they to tell a woman when they can have a family? Especially at that pay rate?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

"It is also an infringement of the rights of the women's partners," she said.

As a male, I appreciate this. Thank you.

if several workers at daycare centers, where most of the employees are women, take maternity leave at once, it could cause trouble to both the centers and other colleagues.

Does that even pass as an argument?

If someone has a baby, that’s life. Don’t just “deal with it”, support and celebrate and support it.

If you can’t hire replacement staff then hike wages, if you can’t hike wages because of government regulations or culture, change those things.

Embrace life and change!

the government raised daycare workers' salaries by 2 percent and introduced a pay-raise system in April last year.

I know a better system. It’s called market rates. Workers would get a salary corresponding to what people are willing to pay.

So long as government is centralling planning wages, there will be problems in securing sufficient workers. It’s 2018, people should have learnt such basics by now.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The service is far too expensive for ordinary people to pay anything like full price.

So people who can’t pay wouldn’t take up the service, but seriously, if you are a double income household, can you really not find the money to pay unto others for that which you opt not to do yourself?

If society agrees, it could be made more accessible by making income tax zero for families with under-twos.

The key to securing workers is paying them market rates. That is how supply and demand is balanced. Artificially keeping pay low means supply is low and demand is high. Hence there are problems with kids on waiting lists.

Let daycare providers across the country pay market rates, and the demand / supply imbalance will be resolved.

Additionally, it needs to be easier for mothers / fathers retiring to work to do so. Japan has serious culture problems with expecting “new” staff to be under 35 years old, etc. This should be illegal.

For were it easy to get back into the workforce after taking child rearing leave, the demand for under-two/three child care service would decrease, working to alleviate demand.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

retiring to work 

returning to work, thx

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"that some think borders on the absurd" it IS absurd, stupid, dumb and goes to show how reality and logic are a long way away for some.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They deserve more. It’s unfair that I receive more just sitting all day in the office.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As there is a shortage of nursery workers they do not need to follow daft "rules" about the order in which they get pregnant. Even if they are fired they will be able to find another job easily enough. And if they are fired for getting pregnant they can sue the nursery, possibly netting several thousand Yen in damages after 5-10 years of court hearings.

Japan has serious culture problems with expecting “new” staff to be under 35 years old, etc. This should be illegal.

Age discrimination is illegal but, like many laws here, it is never enforced.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Not a surprise living in Japan

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But amid the serious daycare shortages facing the nation, others argue the rotation scheme is a necessary evil. no force daycares to pay a decent wage and the women will come in droves, Japan has more than enough workers what it doesn't have is a decent womans wage that makes it more desirable to work and not stay home and be a housewife

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sadly the Governments and Companies view is "they say it do it." With no thought about the actual problem. Or of a proactive policy shift. Just incredulously blaming those at the bottom for not doing what their told.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its problems like this that convince me that the japanese government is not serious about tackling the issue of declining population. They are probably ignoring it and paying lip service, all the while intending to push the responsibility of dealing with it to the future generation of leaders. They dont care whether it is too late to rectify anything by then. I feel very sorry for whoever is forced to face the consequences in the future.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I saw the words Union Members in the article.

GO on STRIKE!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 no force daycares to pay a decent wage and the women will come in droves, 

Right, and to force the day care providers to pay a decent wage, means that they will be forced to charge higher prices for their services and force parents into the position of whether or not they can afford to send their child to day care.

It's very easy to just snap one's fingers and say "do this" or "do that" but putting it into effect is something totally different.

Where is the money going to come from? Tax payers right?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When the leader of a nation cannot understand the issue because like many of his citizens he has no child, what do you expect as effort to see kids as the best resource? You see people to harvest.

I don't understand why they make being a day care nurse with so many barriers when it so natural and need just common sense...

They still need to be paid to the efforts made, so way more.

Goodluck Japan if pregnancy orders are not just punished seriously.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I had to check my calendar after reading this, just to make sure it was 2018. Wake the heck up Japan! This is supposed to be a democracy not a socialist republic!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is brilliant. Here we are, listening to the complaints about how the Japan Birth rate is so low, and so many foreigners invading Japan... and at the same time, making it harder for Japanese women to have Kids.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Where is the money going to come from? Tax payers right?

I’d rather that than spending it on useless military equipments.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“women must wait their turn to become pregnant to avoid staffing shortages resulting from multiple workers taking maternity or childcare leave at the same time.”

that’s just insane. Do they got to wait and are micro-managed when they can get married too?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I believe that part of the problem is that daycare has been turned into a regulated industry – with daycare provider licensing and unrealistic/unnecessary child to caregiver ratios. I believe that Tokyo requires one caregiver for three under-one children – which is where a mother either enters the system and goes back to work, or stops work altogether to take care of her infant. A one to six ratio would be acceptable IMO.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As for building more Nursery schools, they are doing just that, but they have no one to hire, a school with no staff is useless!

At the schools my daughter has worked at, they hire a teacher to take the place of the teacher taking maternity leave, a lot of the time it will be a teacher who has worked there before, and she/he will return just for that reason.

They also have some great male staff, you might hear about the one perv that gets caught doing something, but you don't hear about the other 99.99%!

My oldest daughter has been a nursery teacher for about 10 years, all of that money for school and she brings home maybe 160,000 yen. The place she worked before paid a little more, but they broke all kind of laws and had a bad problem with keeping the kids from getting hurt, too may kids in too small of a space. So she changed to a better school, but cheaper pay. They must now also counsel the parents and listen too their personal problems, as it may affect the children. Then comes the physical part, just yesterday she was holding two kids, had on tied to her back and another one crying and holding on to her leg, this went on most of the day, she is always complaining about her back and knees, as do a lot of teachers.

A lot of people think it is an easy job, far from it, monster parents who think you have to keep an eye only on their child out of a class of 20, kids get hurt, that is life, but they act as if they should be put in a plastic bubble.

If you are having trouble at home, the teacher will know because the kids act out, and are easy to read, sometimes the teacher will know the mother is pregnant again just by how the kids act, father is away, kids act out, not enough love at home, it is the same thing.

Even after the kids leave for home or while they are taking a nap, the teachers have to write tons of paperwork, even after work is over, it never ends, also they must check each child under two years of age every 5 minutes to make sure they are still breathing at nap time, not much time to really take a break or get paperwork done. People who do this job do it because they really care about children, there are some bad apples in the bunch, but most are soon let go, or quit before too long.

Also, the Unions are a Joke!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Omachi

The ratio seems like it should be higher, but with all the children will allergies who can be near others at lunch and all biting that goes on, you can not have any less teachers, even trying their best, kids do things in a blink of an eye, and are sneaky, not to mention all the ADHD and autism children for whom they are required to have extra teachers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have they said anything about the ages of the employees? I can imagine a 40-year-old couple who really wants their first and probably only child telling anyone trying to limit their conception opportunities to take a hike.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Great business sense. Good for society. Terribly inhuman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A labor union said last year there was an objection raised from a staff member at a public nursery school in northeastern Japan. "The staff here have to discuss amongst themselves and decide on the order to conceive babies. Isn't this strange?"

Strange indeed and I would imagine it must also be unconstitutional.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe that part of the problem is that daycare has been turned into a regulated industry – with daycare provider licensing and unrealistic/unnecessary child to caregiver ratios. I believe that Tokyo requires one caregiver for three under-one children – which is where a mother either enters the system and goes back to work, or stops work altogether to take care of her infant. A one to six ratio would be acceptable IMO.

How did you come up with the 1:6 ratio for infants? I am going to guess it's not from any experience, but an assumption based upon some belief that infants are easier to take care of than toddlers perhaps?

1:6 is not acceptable, if they are doing their jobs correctly, 1:6 ration would be a killer for those who have to do it.

The ratio seems like it should be higher, but with all the children will allergies who can be near others at lunch and all biting that goes on, you can not have any less teachers, even trying their best, kids do things in a blink of an eye, and are sneaky, not to mention all the ADHD and autism children for whom they are required to have extra teachers.

The ratios are set with the safety and welfare of the children in mind, and they are not unreasonable, you even support that with your own response.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

Why mention socialist republic here? In USSR people had as many kids as they wanted, kindergardens were free and it was not hard to bring up a kid. Also, what Sweden etc are having now is close to that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some Japanese nurseries and other workplaces staffed mainly by women have an in-house policy that some think borders on the absurd: women must wait their turn to become pregnant to avoid staffing shortages resulting from multiple workers taking maternity or childcare leave at the same time.

that's hilarious

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On my 1:6 ratio for infants - based upon direct experience.  Infants sleep, eat, and get changed - mostly sleep.  1:3 would be shear bordom for the caregiver.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

someone Que the Twilight zone theme music!!

the thought of this alone is mind blowing, women actually having to wait to get pregnant in a country that apparently has a low birth rate problem. :-/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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