As part of the Abe Government's strategy to encourage more women to join the workforce, the Act to Promote Women in the Workplace was passed in August 2015 and came into force on 1 April 2016.
The Act applies to both the public and private sectors. It sets out the following obligations for employers who regularly employ more than 300 workers:
- to be aware of the company's current status in promoting women in the company and to analyse the relevant issues and challenges; for example, in the proportion of women out of all new recruits and out of all employees in managerial positions, the disparity between men and women in their length of service, and issues relating to or arising from their work hours;
- to formulate a plan of action that sets out: (i) the term of the plan; (ii) (numeric) targets; (iii) what to do; and (iv) when to do it. The plan should be accessible to all workers, including non-permanent staff, and should be made public;
- to make a filing at the local Labour Bureau about the action plan;
- to make public the information set out in the first bullet above.
Actions for employers
Employers who regularly employ more than 300 workers should be complying with the above obligations immediately.
Employers that do not regularly employ more than 300 workers are encouraged to make an effort to do so.