Death from overwork is one of the most significant social problems facing Japan today.
Japanese people are hard worker, which is well known fact even in Japan, but more and more we’re hearing stories of employees being pushed past their limits.
Sukiya, a chain of Gyudon restaurants, is the most recent company in the spotlight.
According to an independent committee, an employee’s average overtime was 100 a month. This completely transcends the standard 80 hours permitted per month.
The panel also discussed eliminating the exploitive practice of having one employee running the graveyard shift. The report created by the committee urged Sukiya to introduce a ban on long working hours – even at the expense of locations remaining closed.
A chain of restaurants like Sukiya that prides itself on its ability to “save time and money” will have to consider how its policies are starting to affect its employees.
Your eyes either pop out of your head or you’re a zombie when you work at a “Black Company”.
Eight hours of work is the what Japanese employers are supposed to adhere to, according to Japan’s Labor Standards Act. However, this is not often observed regardless of kinds of employee like part time, non-administrative position and so on actually.
Sukiya has even been considered by some as one of Japan’s many “Black Companies”.
“Black Companies” is a popular term for companies that ignore Labor-management agreement, make employees work over specified time, and do not give a salary each month and so on.
Intriguingly, restaurant business companies like Watami, which is a chain of Izakayas, Osho, a chain gyoza (Dumpling) restaurant, and Sun Challenge, have a tendency to occupy most of black companies accorded to “Most Evil Corporation of the year award”.
Many Japanese will face “Black Companies” while job-hunting, so finding a company not on the dark side of the work force is a must.
Also for university students, a word of advice from this journalist: “Don’t work too much.”