Japan Law to Force Workers to go on Holiday

Photo Credit: Bertrand Tran.

Photo Credit: Bertrand Tran.

Yeah I know that’s pretty wild and crazy, but according to The Telegraph, the Japanese Government has recently introduced a law to make sure workers are taking their vacation time.

Japanese workers are so reluctant to leave their offices that they took less than half their holiday entitlement in 2013. The government now wants to raise that total to 70 per cent by 2020, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.

One of the big work issues with Japan is the culture of working late and putting in big unpaid overtime out of a sense of commitment to the company.

I was surprised during one Japanese lesson to learn that there was a set phrase for how to apologize when you had to leave work on time. And we’re not talking about when you have to skip out early, but leaving when your shift ends.

You’re basically apologizing for not staying around to do unpaid work. It’s no wonder they’re having a problem with workers taking their holidays.

Almost two-thirds of workers were also unwilling to take their allotted holidays because “it would inconvenience their colleagues”, according to a study by the Japan Institute for Labour Policy Training. More than half of them also said they simply had no time for holidays because of their heavy workload.

I must admit, however, that I’m not much better. Being an contractor who has flexibility is his schedule, I’m often told that I need to take some actual days off and not just shift things around and work through the weekend.

Although I still think I’m pretty far away from succumbing to “karoshi”, or death by overwork :D

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