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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 20 - 26  > 4 opposition parties jointly submit a bill to regulate working hours
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2016 April 20 - 26 [LABOR]

4 opposition parties jointly submit a bill to regulate working hours

April 20, 2016
The Japanese Communist Party and three other opposition parties on April 19 jointly submitted a bill to revise the Labor Standards Act by incorporating new regulations into the existing law in order to eliminate excessively long working hours and death from overwork.

Unlike European nations, Japan fails to set an upper limit on hours of overtime by law, leaving excessively long hours of work as they are. Even in violation of the law, unpaid overtime has long been rampant in many workplaces in Japan. On top of that, the Abe Cabinet has presented its so-called “zero-overtime-payment” bill to remove the present rule on working hours.

As a counterproposal to the government bill, the amendment bill will impose a ceiling on overtime and will ensure a rest period of a certain number of consecutive hours between the work shifts.

Regarding the discretionary labor system which allows employers to pay only for the prearranged hours of work, the amendment bill will oblige employers to record how many hours each of their employees actually works inside and outside the workplace in order to not exceed the maximum time period stipulated by the Ordinance of the Labor Ministry.

Consequently, the amendment bill will help protect the health and the livelihood of workers, reduce working hours, and help to expand stable employment.

At a press conference after the bill’s submission, JCP member of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko said, “It is a big step forward for the four opposition parties (JCP, DP, SDP, People’s Life) to jointly submit a bill. I will work hard to achieve the bill’s enactment.”

Past related articles:
> Abe to allow overtime without pay while introducing law to prevent death from overwork[April 4 & 7, 2015]
> JCP proposes bill to regulate ‘black corporations’ [October 16, 2013]
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