An advisory panel to the labor minister will propose the introduction of a two-week vacation system in a report to be presented in July, Labor Ministry sources said Tuesday.
The panel, which addresses workers’ holidays and family life, says in a draft of the report that workers should be allowed to take two weeks’ consecutive holiday, including Saturdays, Sundays and paid holidays.
The draft calls for elderly people engaged in volunteer activities and those who care for children to be given priority in taking holidays.
In line with the panel’s report, the Labor Ministry will consider possible measures to support companies that are willing to introduce a long-holiday system, the sources said.
The ruling coalition — the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito party and the New Conservative Party — is advocating a two-week holiday system as a campaign pledge for the general election on June 25 on the grounds it will create more part-time employment.
The draft points out that the average worker does not use about eight days of paid holiday every year. It says workers should take longer holidays by adding these days to weekends.
It also says those who have to spend a lot of time at home taking care of their family should be given priority in taking long holidays over other workers.
The draft says administrative support will be necessary for small and medium-size firms if they introduce a long-holiday system.
According to the ministry, the total number of working hours for an average worker in Japan was 1,848 in fiscal 1999 while the number of consecutive holidays taken averaged 7.5 days.