"Fathering and working - are Japanese companies improving?"

Hitachi has been voted as the most paternally friendly company in Japan for the second year in a row, according to the Mainichi Shimbun.

‘Fathering Japan,’ an NPO focusing on the promotion of fathers raising their children, and Dai-ichi Life Research Institute conducted a research on Japanese companies that are the most helpful in supporting their male employees to raise children. The research focused on 2,264 listed companies with over 301 employees, asking questions about working hours, vacation allowances, pregnancy/child raising support and development/training.

The result is:
1) Hitachi
2) Matsushita Electric
3) NTT Data
4) Asahi-Kasei
5) Nifty
6) Mabuchi Motor
7) Yasakawa Electric
8) Oki Electric Industry
9) Nissan
10) Toyota Tsusho

On average, the given ‘child nursing time’ is 6.3 days and ‘child celebration present/money’ is ¥350,000. Other averages include; 22% give ‘short working times’ for their male employees, 61% have flexi-time, 61% have ‘no over-time day,’ 51% have ‘work-life balance proposals,’ and 83.6% have ‘child birth celebration money.’

Hitachi was found to have good proposals on work-life balance as well as childcare/nursing support. The average child-care leave a father can get is a total of three years for children up to the age of seven. Also, short-work times (4—7 hours a day) and working from home for child-rearing is offered until the child graduates from primary school. Last year, 160 men were given these benefits, up 150% from the previous year.

For a society infamous for overwork and “absent fathers,” this is certainly a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately only a small minority of companies are actively taking steps towards creating a positive environment for employees. The article mentioned that, of the 2264 listed companies polled in the study, only 67 answered. This fact alone perhaps makes a strong statement about the tar society must trudge through in order to take another step forward. But as Fathering Japan representative Tatsuya Yasufuji says, there is hope that fathers will “Not give up on raising children as well as working.”

Mainichi Article (Japanese only):

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