Labor Ministry Prompts Japanese Companies to Support Fertility Treatments of Workers

One of the most alarming issues that Japan is faced with in recent years is chronic labor shortage which resulted from the country’s aging population and low birth rate. In order to address this issue, the Japanese government had to revise its immigration laws to open wider doors of employment opportunities for foreign nationals in the Land of the Rising Sun. Aside from this major step, the government has also thought of other measures to counteract the the steady decline of Japan’s fertility rate and working population.


The Japanese labor ministry is prompted to come up with a systematic guidebook to encourage corporate establishments and firms from different sectors to extend support to employees who are currently going through fertility treatment procedures while working for the company. Under the said manual or handbook, the government intends to to introduce a special kind of system that allows the employees concerned to take a leave. This system seeks to avert employees from resigning for them to focus on the fertility test and treatment.


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A 2017 survey conducted by the Japanese government reveals that majority of the employees find it difficult to balance their responsibilities at work while undergoing fertility treatments that require a lot of time and effort, not to mention the cost of the procedure. The survey was participated in by more than two thousand male and female workers.


On the other hand, around seventy percent of the companies involved in the survey expressed that they were not aware that their employees are undertaking fertility treatments. Meanwhile, less than twenty percent of these corporate firms claim that they have an existing support program and special leaves available for these employees.


In this regard, the ministry aims to finalize the details of the guidebook towards the end of the current fiscal year until March 2020. Their plan is to disseminate these policies via local infertility consultation facilities, employment firms and various associations of businessmen. According to an official by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, “It’s important that society deals with this matter as a whole.”


Reference: Gov’t to urge firms to help employees undergoing fertility treatment


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