National

Dentsu drops 'family-friendly' tag amid 'karoshi' scandal

Kyodo

With its work environment in serious question, Dentsu Inc. has said that it relinquished its certification as a “family-friendly” company recognized by the government.

Japan’s biggest ad agency has been facing criticism after labor authorities recently recognized that a female employee’s suicide in December was caused in part by overwork.

The firm, whose offices around the country have faced probes by authorities in the past weeks, said it told the health ministry to drop the “family-friendly” title Tuesday. The ministry accepted the request.

“We’ve relinquished (the certification), as we are taking a series of recent events seriously,” Dentsu’s public relations department said.

The ministry gives the certification to firms based on factors such as a high ratio of child-rearing leave and efforts to reduce overtime work.

Dentsu received the title in 2007, 2013 and 2015, but Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki has said the ministry might take back the certification due to the December suicide of Matsuri Takahashi, 24, who worked more than 100 overtime hours a month.