Support for Maintaining Balance between Work and Childrearing. By: Arai, Michiko. 2017. Quarterly Journal of Public Policy & Management. Vol 4.

Recently, the way in which women work has finally started changing. For about 20 years following the enactment of the Child Care Leave Act in 1991, little change occurred in the situation surrounding women’s employment and childrearing: Approximately 60 percent of women who had worked before childbirth left their job afterward. However, the amendment to the Child Care and Family Care Leave Act in 2009 required companies to offer shorter working hours to workers taking care of a child less than three years old, which has made it possible for women, especially those who are regular employees, to continue their employment. Managing personnel who have time constraints is a new challenge for many companies. Workplace supervisors must have considerable management skills in order to utilize the skills of those who have returned to work after taking childcare leave and are working under time constraints. Many supervisors, however, have little such experience and are struggling to figure out how they can support returning employees. With an increasingly diverse workforce, companies need to reform their management methods so that all their employees can work with motivation and perform well. At the same time, returning employees who work under time constraints need to actively examine their careers while engaging in discussion with their families and supervisors. Supporting workers in maintaining balance between work and childrearing can lead to acceptance of people who have various needs in terms of ways of working, whose number is expected to increase. Providing this support will become an increasingly important issue against a backdrop of significant changes in the work environment and changes in the values of workers.