The Japanese government plans to require companies with over 100 employees to set and disclose paternity leave targets from April 2025 to facilitate fathers' involvement in child-rearing and allow parents to better manage work and family responsibilities, government sources said Monday.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare plans to submit a related bill to the ordinary Diet session to implement the measure, covering around 50,000 companies in Japan, the sources said.

The ratio of Japanese men who took paternity leave stood at 17.1 percent in a fiscal 2022 survey, far less than 80.2 percent among women and far below the government's 2025 target of 50 percent.

As for companies with 100 employees or less, they will be asked to make efforts to set paternity leave targets but will not be obliged, the sources said.

The disclosure of paternity leave is set to be included in action plans on workplace support for raising children that the government requires the companies with over 100 employees to compile, the sources said. The action plans will also include targets such as on overtime per full-time worker, they said.

The companies are asked to submit the action plans to the ministry's labor bureaus and then make them public, the sources said.

The ministry can issue recommendations for companies who do not disclose the targets to do so, they said.

Since April 2023, companies with over 1,000 employees are already required to publish data on the percentage of male workers who have taken paternity leave.

In a survey conducted by the ministry in fiscal 2022 of 1,000 full-time male workers, roughly 620 men said they had never taken paternity leave, of whom 39.9 percent cited concern about decreased income as a reason in a question with multiple answers permitted. Some 22.5 percent mentioned feeling difficulty due to their work environment or because their companies or supervisors lacked understanding of such leave.

In Japan, parents receive 67 percent of their monthly salary through employment insurance for the first six months after taking child care leave and 50 percent afterward, basically until the child turns 1 year old.

The ministry also plans to submit another bill to the current Diet session to expand the scope of the paternity leave data disclosure requirement to companies with over 300 employees from April 2025, the sources said.

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