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CultureMay 27, 2015
Japan is known for its contemporary hybrid culture. Japanese people are often honoured for their hardworking nature and dedication to work. They sacrifice themselves for the companies they work for and many never leave their workplace before their bosses do. This culture is deeply ingrained in Japanese employees and despairingly for many it leads to ‘Karoshi’.
Karoshi is a Japanese term meaning ‘death by overwork’. Japan’s health industry is experiencing significant strain because so many people have mental and physical health problems as a result of working too much.
Work related suicides are prevalent, and ‘more than 2,000 suicides a year are linked to overworking’. There has been a recent surge in the number of people dying due to stress-related problems.
The Japanese government has responded to the overwhelming statistics. They have introduced mandatory holiday pay for employees. Japan, on paper, has very attractive annual leave entitlements. Employees receive 16 public holidays per year and on top of that an ‘average of more than 18 days of paid leave’. However Japanese people are simply not using these days. In 2013 one in six workers did not take any paid leave.
The government plans to cut the ratio of people working 60 or more hours a week. They also hope to increase the number of people utilising paid public holidays from the current 49% to more than 70% by 2020.
In Australia employees are entitled to 20 days of annual leave and we have 12 public holidays on our annual calendar. If you are a business owner and are experiencing staff not utilising their annual leave entitlements or you wish to implement company shutdowns over Christmas for example, call Employsure on 1300 651 415. Employsure are your workplace specialists who can support you to identify the correct procedures when deciphering leave entitlements and holiday pay.
Sourced: Australian Financial Review and ABC News