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Japan offers most paid leave for fathers in world, but few take it

13 June 2019 10:28
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Japan offers most paid leave for fathers in world, but few take it

NEW YORK. KAZINFORM Japan leads the world in paid leave set aside for fathers, but few take advantage of it, according to a new report by the U.N. Children's Fund based on legal entitlements from 2016.

The report, called "Are the world's richest countries family-friendly?" looks at the globe's most family-friendly high and middle-income countries, and among other factors ranks nations by the amount of paid leave that fathers and mothers are entitled to receive, Kyodo reports.

"In Japan, the only country that offers at least six months at full pay for fathers, only 1 in 20 took paid leave in 2017," a press release said.

While still remaining at a low level, the percentage edged up to 6.16 percent in 2018, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said last week.

According to a survey cited by the UNICEF report, 45 percent of male workers with children under 3 who are on regular contracts said they did not want to take paternity leave, while 35 percent said that while they did want to, they could not.

Of those who did not take advantage of it, the third most common reason given was an "unfavorable atmosphere" in the workplace. The top reason was staff shortages and the second most common reason was that their company did not offer it.

The report defined paternity leave as beginning shortly after childbirth, and explained that it was not as widely available as it was to women in the form of maternity leave. Of the 41 countries that were surveyed, only 26 offered paternity leave compared with 40 that supported maternity leave.


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