Japanese ‘no overtime’ bill introduced

japanese overtime

Overworked: almost one in four Japanese employees works more than 50 hours a week.

As Japan is one of the most beneficial countries for expats to work in Asia in terms of high salary and low taxes, so it’s no wonder that it attracts so many foreigners for work-related reasons.

However, expats need to take into account that while they may secure business success, they are likely to face a gruelling work culture which may come as a shock to the system.

The “no overtime” bill

The bill, which was recently introduced by the current Japanese cabinet, exempts companies from paying employees more than 10.75 yen ($88,000) a year.

The bill will have a hard-hitting effect on well-paid white-collar workers, such as financial dealers and consultants. If the new regulations are put in place many will face uncompensated overtime, meaning worker will be under more pressure as they rush to try and complete all their tasks in a shorter space of time.

Too many cases of karoshi

Critics say that the new regulations which will be introduced into an already high pressure system could pose a risk to public health. Every year, hundreds of work-related deaths are reported, caused by strokes, heart attacks and suicide all results of overworked individuals. Almost one in four Japanese employees works more than 50 hours a week. Expats, unaccustomed to such a high pressure environment, could be at considerable risk.

Although the bill will only directly affect a small amount of (highly-paid) Japanese employees, health problems due to spending far too much time in the office is still a wide spread problem in Japan.

The Japanese even have a word for ‘death caused by overwork’: karoshi.