Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q2 2017

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

View all Q2 2017 Global Guide Quarterly updates

Amendment to Personal Information Protection Act Effective as of May 30, 2017

New Legislation Enacted

The Amendment to Japan’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) became effective as of May 30, 2017. This amendment is the first material change to PIPA since it was originally passed in 2003. The amendments are designed to help Japan incorporate various global standards used by a number of jurisdictions and to address rapid advances in information technology and global information transfer. Importantly, the amended PIPA abolishes the exemption for small businesses, introduces a new category of “sensitive information,” addresses the standard for the international transfer of personal information, and establishes a new public independent authority, the Personal Information Protection Commission, which replaces the previous supervising authority.

Japan Amended Civil Code

New Legislation Enacted

The Civil Code, which is the basis of contract laws in Japan, has been largely modified and promulgated as of June 2, 2017, the first time in the last 120 years. The new act will become effective within three years from June 2, 2017. The new act will change contract laws, which include statutes of limitation, statutory interest rate, loan guarantee obligation, and terms of contract conditions with consumers, among other things.

Enhancement to Equal Work Equal Pay Law Proposed

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Labor Policy Council in Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare (MHLW) announced its opinion on June 9, 2017, that MHLW should submit the bill that will enhance equal pay for equal work for part-time employees, limited term employees and dispatched workers. It is necessary to update the current laws and guidelines that prohibit unequal treatments by clarifying hallmarks and criteria to find the unequal treatments, among other things.

Proposal to Limit Overtime Working Hours

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Labor Policy Council (Council) in Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare(MHLW) announced its opinion on June 5, 2017, that MHLW should submit the bill that will limit the maximum overtime working hours. Under current Labor Standards Act (LSA), there is no limit set out for maximum overtime working hours, rather the applicable guideline basically stipulates 45 hours per month, 360 hours per year. Council recommends to set out these rules to LSA. Council also states, even in exceptional cases, 720 hours per year should be the maximum, with restrictions (1) 80 hours per month, in average, within 2 through 6 months; (2) 100 hours per month maximum for one month; and (3) a month with more than 45 hours overtime per month should be within 6 months per year.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.