Work Style Reform Law, a measure of cultural diversity in the workplace

In an apparent bid to adjust its work environment to the cultural and customary diversities that will come its way due to the expected inflow of foreign workers as well as to provide equal opportunities for all regardless of employment status, the government of Japan enacted the Work Style Reform Law last year which began implementation in April of this year.


This reform law included, among others, two notable changes which were made part of a survey conducted by Jiji Press – a reputable news agency in Japan – in order to gather information on the public’s perception of the law especially those affected by it.


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One of the revisions involved in the survey was the change in the mandatory paid time off or personal time off (PTO) such that employees who are given at least 10 or more PTOs in a year must consume at least 5 or more of said PTOs during the year. Based on the law, employers who fail to abide by this new PTO mechanism may be subject to fines of up to ¥300,000.00 per employee.


Based on the survey, 48.6 percent of the respondents claimed that the new change is still not enough while 35.6 percent were satisfied with the revision. The remaining 15.8 percent answered, “uncertain.”


Of the 35.6 percent who were satisfied with the revision, a little over half of the group or 50.1 percent answered that they were already satisfied with the holidays available to them prior to the revision.


In addition, 44.1 percent claimed that they were wary of any possible repercussions that may occur from the additional use of paid leaves while 19.2 percent were anxious of issues that might be caused to their office mates. A small group of 7.2 percent stated that they “had nothing to do during the holidays.”


Another revision incorporated in the survey was the introduction of fair treatment of employees regardless of employment status or the equal pay for equal work system. The survey revealed that about 66.7 percent of the respondents were in favor of the system while 24.9 percent were against it.


According to the law, this new system will be made applicable to large businesses beginning April of next year and small to medium companies starting April 2021.



Survey finds nearly 50% of Japanese think mandatory use of five days of paid leave is not enough

Japan Enacts Work Style Reform Law


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