The Goals for Working Hours System Reform and Challenges for the Future

Author Name SHIMADA Yoichi (Waseda University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2019 19-J-010
Research Project Reform of Labor Market Institutions
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This paper offers the following legislative proposals on the system of working hours, looking back at the legal system of working hours and referring to legislation concerning work style reform in Japan.

  1. Introduce a duty for the employer to take the measures necessary to ensure that every worker receives a minimum daily rest period of 9-11 consecutive hours per 24-hour period, to maintain their health.
  2. Fundamentally change the system of annual leave from one in which the employer has to assign annul paid leave for the particular period requested by workers, to one in which the employer has a duty to grant leave to workers; and modify the method of taking annual paid leave from a daily basis to a weekly basis in order to both ensure that employees take all of their annual paid leave and to realize longer consecutive vacation day holidays for workers.
  3. Separate the employee time management system from the annual bonus system and realize a new, flexible employment system that incorporates maintaining employee health and welfare.
  4. To optimize work schedules etc., institute a mandatory system of permanent, joint labor-management communication committees to be established in each workplace.