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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 June 11 - 17  > Labor-related ministers agree to no-overtime-pay system
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2014 June 11 - 17 [LABOR]

Labor-related ministers agree to no-overtime-pay system

June 12, 2014
The government, in acceding to the demand of business circles and large corporations, has decided to incorporate in its new growth strategy a system to lift the restrictions on working hours.

The new system will exempt employers from paying overtime to workers whose annual income exceeds 10 million yen.

Suga Yoshihide (chief cabinet secretary), Amari Akira (economic revitalization minister), and Tamura Norihisa (labor minister) on June 11 held a meeting and agreed to the introduction of the system. The Cabinet will approve this “zero”-overtime-pay policy as early as the end of this month.

In the meeting, Amari said, “It will be an effective system to allow employers to further enhance labor productivity.”

The zero-overtime-pay system will undermine the 8-hour day/40-hour week principle, forcing workers to work long hours without limit until they achieve expected results. Employers, on the other hand, will be relieved of any responsibility for managing workers’ working hours and will leave deaths from overwork as a consequence of individual self-responsibility.

Labor Minister Tamura has called for a system of evaluating workers not by the number of hours they work but by their productivity.

Sakakibara Sadayuki, the newly-appointed chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), has claimed that “at least around 10% of all workers in Japan should be subject to a zero-overtime-pay policy” (June 9).

Past relate article:
> PM’s panel will propose introduction of white-collar exemption [ December 12, 2013]
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