There’s an interesting video on CNN about Canon Japan and its new program to get workers to go home early and “procreate.” See the article here. What a great company! I’m proud to own a Canon digital camera.
There were a number of questions/thoughts that popped into my head after watching/reading this.
1. How does the company benefit from sending its workers home early? Cutting overtime seems rather useless compared with the more common method of cutting workforce. Plus, if these people do have babies who scream through the night, they’re going to be tired and walking around like zombies, and they’ll be more or less useless to the company. (I’m speaking a bit from experience.)
2. How does the system work in Japan? Does Canon get public money to encourage childbearing? If it’s a national problem, one would think that the nation would provide incentives. What does the company or country do for parents after they have children?
3. I’ve known this for a long time, but I’ll say it again: the U.S., through it’s tax laws, provides good benefits for having children but lousy benefits for keeping them. Other less affluent countries in Europe have mandatory maternity periods along with government sponsored healthcare. Americans get none of this, and childcare costs are ridiculously expensive in this country.