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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 2 - 8  > Nurses put in unpaid overtime work worth 66,000 yen a month on average
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2016 March 2 - 8 [LABOR]

Nurses put in unpaid overtime work worth 66,000 yen a month on average

March 8, 2016
Medical care workers are working unpaid overtime worth 66,000 yen on average every month. This was shown in the results of an annual survey on these workers’ working conditions that the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) released on March 7.

Iroren in the autumn of 2015 conducted the survey of 12,518 medical workers, including union members. In the survey, 80% of nurses doing shift work said that they work extra hours after their shift. Among them, the largest portion or 23.6% of nurses work 30-60 minutes of overtime each day, and 2.3% more than 180 minutes. Over 70% of the respondents said they start work before their official starting time.

The percentage of nurses who work extra after their shift without pay exceeds 20%. As the most common reason, 25.3% cited that there is an atmosphere forcing them to give up receiving overtime pay, followed by the reason that they are unaware of their right to overtime pay (10%). Some respondents said that their supervisors instructed them not to demand overtime pay and others said that they did not know how to demand payment.

Iroren on this day held a press conference regarding the survey results at the Labor Ministry office building. At the press conference, Iroren Vice Chair Morita Shinobu said, “Young workers tend to give up applying for overtime pay or report fewer overtime hours than actually worked. It may be because they are forced by their employers to believe they are still in training.”

Stating, “Exhausted medical workers may endanger patients’ lives,” Iroren Secretary General Miura Nobuko stressed the need to establish a legal framework limiting the number of hours a nurse works and enabling nurses to take a certain amount of rest breaks between finishing one shift and starting the next.

Past related article:
> More than 70% of nurses consider resigning due to chronic fatigue: union survey [February 4, 2014]
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