Childcare, nursing care workers likely to get 3% wage hike

The government plans to raise the wages of childcare workers and nursing care workers by 3% as part of its economic measures to be decided on Nov. 19.

The government will also work out a plan to provide up to ¥2.5 million each in aid to small and midsize businesses that have suffered drops in sales due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The scale of the economic measures is expected to exceed ¥30 trillion.

The monthly income increase for childcare workers and nursing care workers is expected to be about 3%. The average monthly income, including bonuses, will be ¥303,000 for childcare workers, and ¥293,000 for nursing care workers — an increase of about ¥9,000 in each case.

The government is also working on the amount of wage increases for nurses and kindergarten teachers.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made it a top priority to increase the earnings of childcare and nursing care workers with the aim of achieving a “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution.” Kishida has deemed it necessary to provide the workers with immediate support through economic measures.

The government also plans to provide support to small and midsize businesses if their monthly sales decrease by 30% or more compared to the same month one or two years earlier.

The threshold will be lower than that for a past similar benefit plan helping small and midsize firms to maintain their operations, which was available for businesses that experienced a 50% or more decrease in sales compared to the same month the previous year.

The economic package will also include providing benefits equivalent to ¥100,000 for children aged 18 or younger, with an annual household income cap of ¥9.6 million. It will also include a separate cash benefit of ¥100,000 for low-income families who are not required to pay local resident taxes.

The package also will include an expansion of subsidies for prefectures that offer discounts to local residents who travel within the prefecture. Travel to neighboring prefectures will also be included in the economic package as part of the government’s efforts to help stimulate demand.