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Looking at the Practice of the Parental Leave System in Japan

By Yasunobu Tomita


This paper was published as Working Paper 18 by the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester. It is available from only entryThe paper investigates whether the parental leave system and other personnel\ud management systems have increased the proportion of women who continue to work after\ud childbirth, using some data on individual firms. It finds that more women continue to\ud work after childbirth in firms where the parental leave system is in place and where nursery\ud places for children are available on site. As to various working hour schedules, more\ud women continue to work after childbirth in firms which have shorter annual working hours,\ud half-day holidays, and part-time working for employees with children. Moreover, more\ud women continue to work in firms which give women similar jobs to men and promote more\ud women to managerial positions. None of the six firms interviewed hired employees who\ud covered for women on parental leave from the external labour market. Two ways in which\ud firms deal with women on parental leave were identified. First, other employees who do\ud the same job share the job of the absentee in addition to their own. Secondly, another\ud employee is transferred to cover for the absentee. The former is the case for routine jobs,\ud and the latter is the case for non-routine jobs. The more employees have experience of a\ud wider range of jobs through internal transfer, the easier it is for firms to cope with women\ud who are on leave. Moreover, there are the opportunities for some employees to widen\ud their job experience and acquire new skills on the job as a result

Publisher: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester
Year: 1998
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