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January 31 2018
On September 15 2017 the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued the Outline of the Act for Revising Related Acts for the Promotion of Work Style Reform. This outline was created based on the government's Action Plan for the Realisation of Work Style Reform, which was published in March 2017 (for further details please see "New Action Plan for Realisation of Work Style Reform").
The outline introduces improved overtime regulations with accompanying penalties. It aims to establish fixed overtime limits, regardless of whether employers have entered into a so-called '36 agreement' (ie, a labour management agreement regarding overtime with special conditions) with employees.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had planned to prepare a bill and submit it to the National Diet for deliberation at its extraordinary session scheduled to start in September 2017. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the National Diet on September 28 2017 and a general election of the House of Representatives took place in October 2017. As a result, it became impossible for the bill to be put before lawmakers in 2017. The bill is expected to undergo deliberation during the diet's regular session, which is scheduled for January to June 2018.
The key points of the proposed overtime regulation are as follows:
Once the National Diet passes the bill in 2018 (with or without any amendments) and the revised Labour Standards Act takes effect at a later date, companies will be required to implement a new scheme to manage working hours which will be substantially different from the existing one. This is primarily because companies will likely have to monitor the working hours of individual employees continuously in light of the cap of:
As such, the proposed amendment of the Labour Standards Act with regard to overtime regulations will continue to garner significant attention going forward.
For further information on this topic please contact Jun Kanda at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu by telephone (+81 3 6889 7000) or email (email@example.com). The Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu website can be accessed at www.noandt.com.
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