Japan “work style”reform bill

1. The Labor Standards Act

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On June 29, 2018, the “work style” reform bill was passed by the Japanese Diet. It was one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s key legislations this year. The bill was comprehensive and sought to modernize Japan’s work systems by amending a number of labor related laws in order to create a more fair and equal workplace, improve chronically long working hours, and give more freedom and flexibility to workers. The laws amended include, among others, the Labor Standards Act (“LSA”), the Employment Measures Act, the Industrial Safety and Health Act (“ISHA”), the Pneumoconiosis Act, the Worker Dispatching Act, the Labor Contracts Act, the Act on Improvement of Employment Management for Part-Time Workers, and the Act on Special Measures for Improvement of Working Hours Arrangements.

The amendments will include criminal penalties and monetary fines for their violations.

Many of the amendments will become effective on April 1, 2019, while the rest some time up to April 1, 2024. Given the little time remaining between now and April 1, 2019, when many of the amendments become effective, it is recommended that you start preparations now to ensure that you will be ready to meet many of the new work-style requirements.

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