An audit conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in September this year revealed that 4,189 businesses in Japan violated the country’s labor laws. Violations include forced overtime and failure to pay overtime wages. The ministry has instructed the firms to address and redress the issue to avoid further sanctions.
Data shows that 43.8% or 2,241 of these firms were forcing their employees to work beyond the maximum hours as stated by the negotiations with their labor unions. 23.9% or 1,221 companies did not pay overtime wages to their employees who worked more than their normal hours, with one company even giving “managerial status” to more than 70% of their workers just to avoid paying overtime. 730 of the companies had employees who worked more than 100 hours overtime every month. This number of hours is conducive to karoshi, or death from overworking. Among the industries, those with the most number of violations are in the customer entertainment category (hotels, food services) with 87.9%, followed by the transportation industry at 85.5% and the health care industry with 83.6%.
The ministry used employment data and tips from employees on the so-called black companies, or those that are known for illegal and abusive employment practices, particularly for new and young workers. They shortlisted the number of businesses to audit based on a phone consultation event last September, as well as past violation records and high employee turnover rates. They are just 82% of the 5,111 firms that have been selected for audit. If the companies fail to redress their employees over these violations, a ministry official says they will be sending information to prosecutors and they will probably be charged with violating Labor Standards Laws. The ministry said they will also publish the names of these corporations.
[ via Kyodo News ]