A 2013 white paper released on Tuesday revealed that less than 20 percent of young fathers, those in their 30s, consume 60 hours for work every week. With such practice, it is hardly possible for any father to see his child grow and develop during the formative years, or even in the years that will follow.
Following the 8-hour-day movement from the Industrial Revolution, it is expected that only 40 hours will be consumed for work in a week. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare also noted in the Labour Standards that statutory working hours would be “8-hours a day, 40-hours per week”, but may be 44-hours per week “for workplaces subjected to special measures.” But based on the report, the employed fathers who were into the 60-hour a week practice in 2012 were mostly in their 30s (18.2%), followed by those in their 40s (17.5%). Employed fathers in their 40s came last with only 12.9 percent.
With such practice, it is not only a violation to men’s rest and recreation rights. Children of these young fathers only get an hour a day of father-child time. The report is encouraging male employees to utilize their paternal leave. Based on a survey made by the Labour Ministry for fiscal 2011, only 2.63 percent of employed fathers use their fraternal leave. As for women, 87.8 percent have filed for their maternal leave.
The Labour Ministry has also set a limit for overtime, allowing as much 15 hours per week. The 20-hour overtime revealed by the government report is not just a 5-hour excess, it can also be seen as putting a toll on an employee, physically and emotionally. In 2012, a man in his late 40 suffered depression and died of karoshi, or death from overworking.
[via Japan Times]