I was pleased to see that Japan’s Environmental Minister, Shinjiro Koizumi (“Mr Koizumi”) has communicated that he is planning to take two weeks paternity leave in the first month after his baby is born. This is a rare decision in Japan, and Mr Koizumi will be the first cabinet minister to have taken paternity leave.
This case is a positive step for the country, although Mr Koizumi has been discussing his desire to take paternity leave for some time which has received a mixed reaction.
Paternity leave in the UK has definitely developed over my time in practice, and it seems to be something that people still want to see enhanced, which was touched upon in the conservative manifesto before Chritmas. The conservative party have committed to:
- Legislate to allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care; and
- Look at ways to make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave.
Paternity pay is also due to increase from April 2020 from £148.68 per week to £151.20.
It will be interesting to see what steps the government actually takes on these commitments, in the future.