In June 2021, the Japanese government passed legislation increasing the use of child care leave to ensure a better work-life balance for working parents.

The new legislation amending the Child and Family Care Act will enter into effect 1 April 2022, with many provisions entering into effect over the following months.

Key details

The new amendments aim to prevent working parents from leaving the workplace due to child care considerations.

Currently, child care leave may be taken consecutively up to the child’s first birthday, subject to one-month’s notice to their employers. The government funds the child care leave at approximately two-thirds of the employee’s salary for the first 180 calendar days and at 50% of salary thereafter.

Beginning December 2022, in addition to the child care leave, working employees will be entitled to a paid leave (amount yet to be determined) of up to four weeks that may be taken within the eight weeks following the childbirth, subject to a two week’s-notice to their employer. In addition, child care leave entitlement will be able to be taken twice in separate installments.

Beginning 1 April 2023, employers with more than 1,000 employees will be required to disclose the amount of leave taken by each of their employees.

Beginning 1 April 2022, fixed-term employees will be allowed to take child care and family leave, unless otherwise stated in a collective bargaining agreement. Currently, fixed-term employees are entitled to such leave only after one year of service.

Beginning 1 April 2022, employers will be required to actively inform their employees about their child care leave entitlement and take measures to encourage employees to take their childcare leave. Further details on these changes will be disclosed in forthcoming regulations. Employers should be aware of the new child care regulations and amend time off programs accordingly.    

Additional resource

Revised Act on Child and Family Care Leave Act