Saturday, June 17, 2006

Working less? It will not work

From the Financial Times:
"Workers who put in more than 40 hours of overtime a month will earn the right to an extra day off the next month, according to a policy paper prepared by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (...)

Sceptics wonder whether the government’s new ruse will work. This is the land of “service overtime” – unofficially working extra hours for free (...) The average worker in Japan uses less than half of his or her annual holiday and the rate is falling every year.

This suggests two possible flaws with the new law, say cynics. The first is that most overtime is not officially recorded, so employees working too hard will not qualify for the extra time off.

The second is that if workers take less than half their usual holiday entitlement, they are even less likely to take the extra day they have earned through their labours. But “it’s difficult to make the extra holiday compulsory”, says a research officer at the ministry."
Japan tries to cut hours for overworked salarymen (Financial Times - 2006/6/17)

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