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MHLW to propose requiring companies to take maternity harassment prevention measures

  • 2015-12-08 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation

(Tokyo Shimbun: December 8, 2015 – p. 6)


 An advisory committee on labor policies in the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) on December 7 endorsed a proposal submitted by the ministry on revising the system to help workers maintain balance between work and childcare or elderly care, focusing on requiring companies to take measures to prevent maternity harassment. The ideas of allowing workers to take nursing care leave on multiple occasions and easing requirements for non-regular workers to take childcare leave did not draw many objections.


 The MHLW will present to next year’s ordinary Diet session revisions to the child and family care law and equal employment opportunity law with an eye on enacting them by the end of fiscal 2017.


 Under the existing law, employers are prohibited from dismissing, demoting, or unfairly treating workers due to pregnancy, childbirth, or childcare. But as the law does not apply to supervisors or colleagues, it is becoming a source of maternity harassment.


 The proposal calls for making it compulsory for employers and companies hiring temporary workers to implement measures to prevent maternity harassment, such as establishing in-house counseling offices and training courses on maternity harassment.


 At present, workers are allowed to take family care leave of up to 93 days per family member, but such leave is granted only one time per illness or injury. The proposal calls for allowing workers to divide the leave into three occasions, and care can be extended to grandparents and siblings who do not live under the same roof.


 The proposal calls for easing regulations on child-care leave for part-time and non-regular workers. If they are employed for a year or longer and their contracts do not terminate before their child turns 18 months old, they will be eligible for childcare leave. (Abridged)

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