Child-care leave benefits may rise


The government is considering increasing the amount of benefits for people taking child-care leave, labor minister Norihisa Tamura said Tuesday.

The move is aimed at encouraging more men to take child-care leave at a time when the proportion of male employees taking such time off is below 2 percent, Tamura said.

Under the current law, employees receive an equivalent of 50 percent of their salaries during absences of up to a year after the birth of a child. The ministry is expected to discuss increasing the benefits to 60 percent.

The discussions will take place at the employment insurance subcommittee of the ministry’s Labor Policy Council.

The ministry intends to submit legislation to raise the benefits to the next ordinary session of the Diet, starting early in 2014, officials said.