The regime under the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children has recently been extended. The Act sets out employers’ obligations to formulate an action plan, including specific objectives to be achieved within a limited period, to help their employees raise their children, and to file that action plan with the regional Labour Bureau. These obligations apply to employers having at least 101 employees. It was enacted in July 2003 and implemented for a limited ten-year period, from 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2015.

Since 2007, a system has been introduced to recognise employers who have satisfied certain criteria. To obtain recognition, employers would generally need to demonstrate, in particular, that at least 70% of their eligible female employees, as well as at least one male employee, have taken childcare leave. Relaxed criteria are applicable to those employers having no more than 300 employees. Recognised employers are permitted to use a mark of recognition (called “Kurumin”) on their products and advertisements, and are entitled to a certain tax benefit.

The Act has recently been amended to extend the period of application to 31 March 2025, so employers’ obligations to formulate and file their action plan have now been extended for a further ten-year period. The revised Act also sets out a new system of recognition to encourage recognised employers to make public the details of how they are implementing their action plan.

Actions for employers

Employers filing their action plan on or after 1 April 2015 will be required to use a new format of the prescribed application form, which is available here.