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The government will establish a system to provide up to ¥500,000 in subsidies each to small companies actively taking measures to have employees take parental leave.

Eligible for the subsidy program, part of the government’s efforts to improve the child-rearing environment, are companies certified as being enthusiastic about promoting parental leave and given a logo called a “Kurumin mark.”

To be certified, companies need to draw up action plans to promote child care leave and apply to authorities. Criteria for certification include 75% or more of female employees and at least 7% of male employees taking child care leave.

The government plans to submit related bills to the ongoing regular parliamentary session. The new subsidy program will be in place from October this year to the end of March 2028.

Under its comprehensive strategy for regional revitalization, the government seeks to raise the employment rate among women to 82% by 2025. To achieve this, it is calling on companies to redouble efforts to have more employees take parental leave and developing nurseries.

According to a government survey in fiscal 2018, 2,001 of 11,157 large companies were certified under the Kurumin mark system while only 1,311 of 3,578,000 small companies with up to 300 employees were certified.

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