Saturday, 24 February, 2018

Japan ad agency Dentsu fined for making employees do too much overtime

Japan's notoriously long working hours have long caused concerns about the detrimental impact such extended working days might have on the health of employees Japan ad agency Dentsu fined for making employees do too much overtime - media
Frank Williams | 07 October, 2017, 09:20

Japanese advertising giant Dentsu Inc has been slapped with a fine of some 500,000 yen ($4,400) after a Tokyo court ruled it had made employees work overtime beyond legal limits.

Work practices at Dentsu came under scrutiny after it emerged a year ago that one of its employees had been driven to suicide by her brutal work schedule. Lawmakers are creating a plan that prevents employees from working over 100 overtime hours a month.

The case has again highlighted the Japanese problem of karoshi - meaning death from overwork - and is an embarrassing revelation for NHK, which has campaigned against the nation's long-hours culture. Another employee took his life due to work-related stress back in 1991, according to Japan Times.

"It's not just my daughter - tragic cases like this are happening throughout Japan, across all industries and irrespective of whether firms are large or small", she added, noting the death of the NHK reporter.

"Even today, four years after, we can not accept our daughter's death as a reality", Sado's parents said in a statement released by the broadcaster to Japanese media.

Takahashi's death sparked a national outcry and forced the government to draw up guidelines that cap overtime at 100 hours a month, although critics say the limit needs to be lower to protect employees' health.

Las Vegas Shooter's Father had Ties to Superior
Cops will no doubt want to probe claims Paddock organised a wire transfer of $US100,000 to the Philippines. Paddock was found dead when the police arrived in his hotel room, leaving them to believe he shot himself.

Separately this week, public broadcaster NHK said authorities had determined the death of reporter Miwa Sado in 2013 was caused by overwork. In October of that year, Ms Takahashi had logged 105 hours of overtime. "We hope that the sorrow of the bereaved family will never be wasted". "I'm so exhausted", she wrote in one message.

"Illegal long working hours were becoming the norm" at Dentsu, the judge Tsutomu Kikuchi said in his ruling at the Tokyo summary court, according to Kyodo news agency.

In the month before her death, Sado had only taken two days off while working 159 hours of overtime.

"My heart breaks at the thought that she may have wanted to call me" in her last moments, her mother told the Asahi daily.

Sado had sent an email in the weeks before her death that warned of the toll her work was taking on her, the Shimbun reported.

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