Maternity Leave in Japan

Maternity Leave in Japan (Pre-birth / Postpartum) 

Guaranteed maternity leave in Japan covers a period of 6 weeks prior to the expected birth date to 8 weeks after giving birth. 

Duration of Maternity Leave

Pre-birth Maternity leave starts 42 days before the child’s due date. 

Postpartum Maternity leave ends 56 days after their actual birth date.

If the birth of the child is delayed, the days between the due date and their actual birth date also count as part of the maternity leave period.

For example, if the child’s due date is July 1st and their actual birth date is July 5th, maternity leave will start on May 21st and end of August 30th.

Since the 4 days between the due date and the actual birth date are also considered to be part of the maternity leave period, the number of leave days becomes 102 days (42+56+4).

Compensation During Maternity Leave (Pre-birth / Postpartum)

During maternity leave, an employee’s salary will be covered by social (health) insurance up to a limit of two-thirds of their base salary.

Paternity Leave at birth for men

A new paternity leave was introduced from October 2022 and the male employees are eligible to take up to 4 weeks of leave within the first 8 weeks after child’s birth in addition to Parental leave.

 The 4 weeks can be split into 2 installments as long as the leaves are taken within 8 weeks after the child’s birth.

Maternity leave in Japan

Childcare (Parental) Leave in Japan

Childcare leave applies to both female and male employees and leave can be taken either one or two separate periods.

Duration of Child Care Leave

Childcare leave starts the day after maternity leave ends (i.e., 8 weeks after the birth date), and lasts until the day before the child reaches the age of 1.

For example, if the child’s birth date is July 5th, childcare leave would start on August 31st and end on July 4th of the following year.

If the employee’s spouse is also on childcare leave, the childcare leave may be extended up to the day the child reaches the age of 1 year and 2 months; however, the duration of childcare leave taken by each parent should not exceed one year.

Extension of Childcare leave

If employee is unable to find daycare for child, they can apply for extended Childcare leave until the day before the child turns one year and six months or even 2 years old in special cases.

Child care leave in Japan

Compensation During Childcare Leave (Childcare leave allowance)

During childcare leave, compensation to employee will be covered by employment insurance. Employee will receive 67% of their normal base salary for the first 6 months and 50% for the leave after 6 months.

In case the employee is paid by employer during this period, the compensation will be reduced and if the payment by employer is more than 80% of employee’s base salary, the compensation will not be paid.

Income Tax, Employment Insurance and Social Insurance During Childcare Leave

The employee will be exempt from income tax, employment insurance payment during Childcare leave, provided they do not receive payment from their employer.

Both employee and Company are exempt from social insurance payment by applying for exemption to Pension office.

Disclaimer: This information is for illustrative purposes only. JMC cannot be held liable for any decision made based on this information. For any advice regarding taxes in Japan, a licensed tax accountant should be consulted.