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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 July 26 - August 1  > JCP efforts in Diet push major insurance company to stop imposing long working hours on workers
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2017 July 26 - August 1 TOP3 [LABOR]

JCP efforts in Diet push major insurance company to stop imposing long working hours on workers

August 1, 2017
Akahata on August 1 reported that Japan’s major non-life insurance company recently decided to stop applying the so-called discretionary work system to workers in violation of labor laws, effectively reflecting Diet deliberations made by a Japanese Communist Party lawmaker.

Under the discretionary work system, workers are “deemed” to have worked the number of hours agreed upon in advance between labor and management. The system is criticized for providing a magic wand to employers to impose on workers long working hours and unpaid overtime. The Labor Standards Act allows for applying this work schedule system only to workers whose jobs require specialized skills and knowledge and workers handling planning-related tasks.

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., however, introduced the discretionary labor system to even workers doing clerical and sales work, accounting for 30% of the company’s 19,000 employees.

In March this year, JCP member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira, who is also the JCP Secretariat Head, at a House Labor Committee meeting took up this issue of Sompo Japan’s abuse of the discretionary work system. He urged Labor Minister Shiozaki Yasuhisa to take necessary measures after conducting investigations into the matter.

Commenting on the insurance giant’s recent decision, Koike said that workers’ struggle and JCP efforts in the Diet brought about this outcome. Citing the Abe government’s move to create a “zero-overtime payment” system, Koike said that any system exempting employers from paying for hours actually worked is unacceptable.

Past related article:
> Major insurance company illegally forces workers to work long hours: JCP Koike [March 23, 2017]
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