Employees in 23 pct Japanese firms work 80 hours overtime a month: white paper

Some 23 percent of firms in Japan had employees that logged 80 hours overtime a month in 2015, according to a white paper on “karoshi,” or death from overwork, released on Friday.

According to the white paper, 11 percent of companies in a survey saw employees logging a maximum of between 80 and 100 hours overtime a month, and 12 percent had employees working a maximum exceeding 100 hours a month.

Grouped by sector, the infocom industry saw 44.4 percent of companies with employees that work over 80 hours overtime a month, the highest among all industries.

Some 32.8 percent of workers in all industries said that their accumulated level of fatigue was “high” or “very high”, with the proportion of workers with such feelings in hotel and food service industry the highest, reaching 40.3 percent.

The survey is based on replies from 1,743 companies and 19,583 workers to a questionnaire targeting 10,000 companies and 20,000 workers.

It is the first ever white paper issued by the Japanese government in line with a law that, coming into effect in November 2014, held the state responsible for taking measures to prevent death and suicides caused by overwork.

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