February 9, 2014


More Dads are Taking Childcare Leave, Says Hiroshima Prefecture Survey

Keywords: Diversity Local government 

Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan revealed on October 28, 2013, that 7.2 percent of male employees in the prefecture are taking childcare leave, which is significantly higher than national average of 1.9 percent. The figure came from a 2013 workplace environment survey of 2,500 businesses in the prefecture.

Hiroshima has been trying to promote a balance between work and family life in its residents since 2010 by encouraging male employees to take childcare leave. Specific measures include a TV program called Hiroshima Manten Papa ("Hiroshima's Perfect Dad") to raise social awareness of childcare leave, a 200,000-yen (U.S.$2,040) financial incentive for businesses with 300 or fewer employees for each employee who takes childcare leave for less than a month, and a wage subsidy for employees on childcare leave.

The increase in the childcare leave ratio has had a noticeable effect on men's housework and parenting time. In 2006, the average time a man in Hiroshima spent on housework and parenting was 19 minutes per day, ranking 47th--last place--in the nation, but jumped three-fold to 53 minutes in 2011, boosting its rank to 6th in the nation.