Policy / Systems / Technology

March 7, 2008


Japan Adopts Work-Life Balance Charter

Keywords: Government Policy / Systems 

The Japanese Government has formulated a charter outlining its ideals for work/family life balance. The charter and action guidelines were revealed on December 18, 2007, and are aimed at preventing overwork and reversing the nation's declining birthrate. The charter contains provisions for measures to be taken by national and local governments, as well as effective approaches for companies, workers and citizens in pursuit of a society where people can work and live in a well-balanced manner.

The main objectives of the charter are envisioned as three attributes of society, that is, it aims to create a society where (1) people can provide themselves with jobs, (2) have time to lead healthy, affluent lives, and (3) can choose from a diversity of working and living styles. The charter also sets up numerical targets to be achieved in five and ten years to gauge individual fulfillment in several areas.

For example, one target is to achieve a decrease in the number of part-time workers to fewer than 1.628 million by 2012, equal to three fourths of the peak number in 2003 (2.17 million), and to fewer than 1.447 million by 2017. The target for employees who work more than 60 hours a week (10.8% in 2007) is a decrease of 20 percent by 2012 and of 50 percent by 2017. The target for the job continuity rate of female workers around the time of their first childbirth is an increase from the current 38.0 percent to 45.0 percent by 2012, and to 55.0 percent by 2017. The target for the ratio of male workers who take paternity leave is an increase from the current 0.50 percent to 5 percent by 2015 and to 10 percent by 2017.


Posted: 2008/03/07 02:56:42 PM