Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q2 2018

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 2018 Global Guide Quarterly updates

Work Style Reform Legislation Has Been Passed

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Aki Tanaka, Special Counsel – Littler Mendelson, P.C.

On July 6, 2018, various amendments to the employment laws were enacted to reform work style and will become effective gradually (some provisions first on April 1, 2019, then others on April 1, 2010 and April 1, 2023). The amendments include: (i) capping the maximum overtime working hours up to 45 hours/month and 360 hours/year (and up to 100 hours/month and 720 hours/year under special circumstances); (ii) abolishing the exemption of increased premium of 150% for overtime work exceeding 60 hours/month for small to mid-sized employers; (iii) 5 days of annual leave should be designated to specific dates if the employees who have more than 10 days of annual leave fail to take the leave or the company does not on its own schedule the annual leave; (iv) creating the new exemption for “highly-skilled professional;” and (v) equal pay for equal work for regular and irregular employees.

Equal Pay Decision for Older Employees

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Aki Tanaka, Special Counsel – Littler Mendelson, P.C.

On June 1, 2018, the Supreme Court of Japan delivered two decisions (i.e., Nagasawa Transport and Hamakyo-Lex) on equal pay for older employees who have employment an agreement with a limited term. In both cases, the drivers sued their employer after they were re-employed, pursuant to company policy, for a 1-year term following their retirement at age 60. They also alleged that the employer had decreased their salary unfairly because their employment agreement was on a limited term basis. The court found that various benefits that are granted to unlimited term employees only should also be granted to limited term employees after retirement age. However, the court did allow the base wage difference.

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.