• Jiji


People receiving fertility treatment in Japan are having difficulty balancing their work with therapy, with Japanese companies slow to introduce support measures for employees undergoing such treatment, according to a health ministry survey.

The survey, released Monday, found that 37.1% of female and 34.9% of male respondents took time off work to receive fertility treatment, while 72.6% of female and 61.8% of male respondents said that their companies have no treatment support systems.

It also found that 11.2% of female and 4.6% of male respondents had given up their jobs to receive the therapy.

The survey was conducted via mail and the internet between October and December last year, and 1,011 women and 625 men who had received or were receiving fertility treatment at 794 target medical institutions gave valid responses. The respondents’ average age came to 39.5, while 22.9% of the total were under treatment.

“The problem is that companies’ efforts are still inadequate,” the health ministry said, expressing determination to promote employers’ efforts to help workers take leave for treatment.

The ministry intends to use the results of the survey to design a public health insurance program with the scope of coverage expanded to fertility treatment.

Before launching the expanded program in April 2022, the ministry plans to give subsidies to small and midsize firms that are making efforts to facilitate employees’ fertility treatment by introducing special paid leave systems and other measures.

Among other survey finding were that 77.2% of female and 63.9% of male respondents cannot feel fully happy for someone else’s pregnancy and that 74.0% of the women and 69.7% of the men feel pressure from themselves and their partner’s parents.

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