male employee childcare leave

Employees Who Have Taken Childcare Leave

Chief,Product Design Team,Research & Development Department,R&D Center
Takashi Wakasugi

I am currently doing new product development work at the R&D Center. I took a total of six months of childcare leave, broken into two months and four months.
My wife and I took childcare leave so we could both work and care for our child. We decided before the baby was born to return to our jobs as soon as we could.
The R&D Center aims to provide systems and make organizational changes which permit a variety of working styles according to each individual's stage in life. I trust my boss and colleagues, so I had no particular concerns about taking childcare leave.
When I actually took childcare leave, I realized how important it is for men to take time off to care for their children.
I felt that a parent can become much more self-aware through the process of rearing a child. Childcare is something that never ends, so I think it is impossible for a person to do it all on their own.
For many co-working families, it may still be normal for only the wife to take childcare leave. But now I know that this is only possible by imposing a tremendous burden on the wife.
Our company is creating a culture where men's childcare leave and shorter working hours are becoming more commonplace. The childcare leave process was very smooth for me.
However, it was more difficult than I thought for reduced-hour workers to be as fully in tune with issues and concerns as my superiors and colleagues working full time. I realized why communication is so important.
I worked in many different ways to ensure mutual understanding in the manner I asked for assistance with work, the way I phrased comments in meetings, and so on.
Fewer men take childcare leave or work reduced hours compared to women. No one shares the difficulties in taking childcare leave or offers tips on time management skills.
I hope to use of my own experience in creating better working conditions for employees who are working reduced hours or who wish to take childcare leave and/or work reduced hours.


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