Japan Eyes Benefits to Encourage Workers’ Reskilling

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The labor ministry said Monday it plans to give workers benefits of up to 80% of their salaries when they take unpaid leave for reskilling.

The ministry aims to make it easier to learn new skills and earn more for those working at companies without any paid leave system for reskilling.

The plan calls for giving workers 50% to 80% of the salaries they received before taking leave and 45% to 80% for those aged 60 to 64. In principle, the rate will be higher for workers with lower wages.

The benefits will be provided for up to 150 days. Under the country’s current wage level, the upper limit of the benefits will be set at around ¥8,500 per day.

The plan also calls for creating a loan program to help the reskilling of those who are not covered by employment insurance, such as freelancers. Up to ¥2.4 million will be lent annually for up to two years to cover the cost of relearning and living expenses during the period.