New fathers can take up to four weeks of childcare leave within eight weeks of their baby’s birth under new childcare measures approved by the Suga Cabinet in September 2021. The measures, which will help fathers look after their families immediately after childbirth, will take effect from Oct. 1, 2022.
They fall under the new childcare program that was included in legislation passed in June that revised the childcare and caregiver law. According to a welfare ministry study, 12.65 percent of men took childcare leave in fiscal 2020, a much lower figure in comparison to women.
Under the new measure, fathers would be allowed to divide the four weeks of childcare leave into two parts, such as once at childbirth and again after the mother has left the hospital. The changes will also allow fathers to divide into two sections the childcare leave that was already in place under the old law. That means fathers can take up to four separate childcare leaves by using the two programs. Another change will allow fathers to work while they are taking childcare leave.