National / Social Issues

Japan adopts guidelines to cut long work hours in construction, transport sectors

JIJI

The government adopted guidelines on Monday aimed at addressing long work hours in the construction and transport industries.

Workers in the two sectors work longer hours than in other fields amid a serious labor shortage.

The guidelines call on construction companies to secure two days off a week for workers.

For the transport industry, the guidelines seek tougher administrative penalties, including longer suspension orders, on operators who have drivers work illegally long hours.

The guidelines also call for support for transport companies that aim to mechanize their operations, including by introducing forklifts for cargo loading and unloading, in an effort to help shorten hours.

“This is the first step toward correcting long work hours” in the two industries, said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami.

The government introduced an overtime cap of 100 hours per month under an action plan for its reform to working styles adopted in March. The construction and transport industries were given five years to implement the plan.

Coronavirus banner