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Bill to introduce shorter working hours cleared

A bill to oblige companies to enable employees with children under 3 years old to work shorter hours and be exempt from working overtime cleared Japanese parliament today, making it easier for working parents to keep working while raising children.

business Updated: Jun 24, 2009 12:58 IST

A bill to oblige companies to enable employees with children under 3 years old to work shorter hours and be exempt from working overtime cleared Japanese parliament today, making it easier for working parents to keep working while raising children.

The bill to amend the Law for Childcare Leave won unanimous approval at the plenary session of the House of Councillors.

Under the amendment, companies would be required to introduce a system in which employees raising young children could work about six hours a day and could be exempted from overtime if they so desire.

The conventional law allows companies to choose from several options, including a system of shorter work hours, overtime exemption and installation of a nursery for those employees.

The amendment would also extend the period in which both parents can take childcare leave until their child turns 14 months old from the current period of one year.

It also features creating a nursing leave system of five to 10 days a year for workers taking care of family members in need of nursing care.

Employers that violate the revised law would receive instructions or warnings from prefectural labour bureaus and their names would be made public if they ignore the instructions.