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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 1 - 7  > Tamura: Dentsu uses ‘work hour self-report system’ to evade overtime rules
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2017 February 1 - 7 [LABOR]

Tamura: Dentsu uses ‘work hour self-report system’ to evade overtime rules

February 1, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko in a Diet committee meeting said that some companies are abusing the system of workers declaring the hours they worked in order to evade overtime rules.

Tamura on January 31 in a House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting took up a case where a female worker at Japan’s major advertising agency Dentsu committed suicide due to overwork. The JCP lawmaker noted that the worker was forced to work more than 130 hours of overtime a month before killing herself in December 2015. However, Tamura went on to say, with Dentsu adopting a system of having workers report their own work hours, the worker was forced to report that her overtime amounted to less than 70 hours, which is the upper limit set by a labor-management agreement at Dentsu.

This case illustrates how such a self-reporting system undermines the existing work hour regulations, Tamura stressed. The Labor Ministry in April 2001 instructed that when adopting such a system, companies are required not to force employees to underreport their work hours. She said that if Dentsu had followed the ministry’s instruction, it could have prevented the tragedy. Labor Minister Shiozaki Yasuhisa said that Dentsu did not comply with the instruction and that that is the problem.

Tamura stated that in order to prevent deaths from overwork, the government should make employers fulfill their responsibility to accurately calculate their employees’ working hours.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said that the government will instruct companies based on its guidelines on work hour management.

Past related articles:
> Dentsu accused of violating work hour rules [December 28 and 29, 2016]
> Dentsu worker’s suicide recognized as work-related [October 8, 2016]
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