Konsistent TL;DR – Edition no.2, March 26, 2023
27 March 2023 | 4 mins read
Konsistent TL;DR helps you stay up to date on the top news from the business and diversity & inclusion sector.
Let’s take a look at what made headlines over the past seven days, for the week ending March 26, 2023.
Japan wants 85% of male workers to take paternity leave – but fathers are too afraid to take it
In the last decade, Japan has seen a rapidly declining birth rate. Japanese authorities have promoted the term “work-life balance” to address the long working hours that have been depriving fathers of family time and mothers of careers in response to this.
To combat this issue, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently announced a set of policies, including an increase in child support and a pledge to raise the percentage of male workers taking paternity leave to 50% by 2025 and 85% by 2030. However, some in Japan doubt whether these policies will make a significant impact.
Makoto Iwahashi, a member of a labor union for younger workers, believes that many Japanese men are reluctant to take paternity leave due to potential repercussions from their employers, such as negative effects on promotion prospects or reassignment to less important roles.
Even though Japanese men are entitled to four weeks of flexible paternity leave at up to 80% of their salary, workers on fixed-term contracts are particularly vulnerable to discrimination for taking leave.
Small companies may be hesitant to allow workers to take childcare leave as they may face worker shortages, putting pressure on young fathers who wish to take childcare leave in the future.
Bullying doesn’t look like it used to. Here’s how to spot it
Every generation has stories of bullying, but adults today may not fully understand the extent of its effects on children.
A recent study analyzed data from the 2018 Iowa Youth Survey of sixth, eighth, and 11th graders to determine whether there was a correlation between bullying and mental health and suicidal ideation. The study found that physical bullying, such as hitting or shoving, was not significantly associated with mental distress.
However, different types of bullying had varying impacts on students. Identity bullying, which includes bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity as well as sexual jokes, had a significant correlation with feelings of distress and suicide attempts. Cyberbullying and social bullying, such as exclusion and turning peers against one another, also had a notable impact.
The survey data reviewed by the study team revealed a troubling statistic when it came to the state of adolescent mental health.
“About 70,000 students responded to this survey. Five percent of them had attempted suicide in the last year,” Rovers said. “That’s 3,500 kids.”
Experts suggest that parents and teachers need to be aware of the various forms of bullying in order to recognize it when they see it. While physical bullying is easier to spot, technological advances have made cyberbullying harder to detect.
Adults should inquire regularly about their child’s social life and interactions with peers so they can identify any signs of distress.
The French are up in arms over retiring at 64. How do other countries compare?
More than one million people participated in a nationwide strike in France to protest against the increase in retirement age, which ended in violent clashes with police in Paris and other cities on Thursday.
This strike was preceded by a similar one in January and smaller demonstrations in between. Further industrial action is scheduled for next week.
The new law, which was passed last week, increases the retirement age for most French workers from 62 to 64. Despite this change, France’s retirement age is still lower than that of many other developed economies, where the age at which full pension benefits apply is 65 or higher.
In the United States, for example, the retirement age is currently 67 for those born in 1960 or later. In the UK, you can receive a state pension from age 66, although this is set to rise to 68 between gradually over the next few years.
The French government has said that the new law is needed to deal with the country’s growing pension deficit. Without such changes, the system could eventually become insolvent due to an aging population and a larger number of retirees.
But opponents argue that it will lead to further inequality as those who can least afford retirement may be forced to work longer.
Utah governor signs bill requiring teens to get parental approval to join social media sites
The governor of Utah has signed a controversial bill, which will mandate minors to have the consent of a guardian before joining social media platforms.
The Utah Social Media Regulation Act will go into effect on March 1, 2024 and will require social media platforms to verify the age of all Utah residents and ban ads for minors. The bill will also implement a social media curfew, making their sites off-limits between 10:30 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. for those under 18.
Additionally, the bill will require social media platforms to allow parents to access their teens’ accounts.
US lawmakers have been calling for increased safeguards to protect teenagers online due to the potential harms of social platforms leading younger users towards harmful content, adding to mental health problems for teens, and enabling new forms of bullying and harassment.
“When it comes down to it, [the bill] is about protecting our children,” McKell said in a statement, citing how depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation has “drastically increased” among teens in Utah and across the United states alongside the growth of social media sites. “As a lawmaker and parent, I believe this bill is the best path forward to prevent our children from succumbing to the negative and sometimes life-threatening effects of social media.”
This is the most assertive measure yet taken by any state or federal lawmaker in the US to safeguard kids online. However, to date, no federal legislation has been passed.