National / Social Issues

Number of consultations with Japan labor bureaus over ‘power harassment’ up 1.6 percent in fiscal 2017

JIJI

The number of consultations by workers with local labor bureaus over job-related bullying and harassment, including so-called power harassment, grew 1.6 percent in fiscal 2017 from the previous year to a record 72,067, a labor ministry report revealed Wednesday.

Power harassment, mainly bullying by superiors, includes verbal insults or being intentionally ignored.

“Amid a rise in interest in harassment in society, employees are calling on employers to take measures” to improve the working environment, a ministry official said.

Overall work-related consultations on disputes totaled 253,005, down 1 percent.

Of them, consultations over bullying and harassment topped the list for the sixth consecutive year, followed by voluntary resignation and dismissal.

Consultations concerning the nonrenewal of employment contracts jumped 15.8 percent to 14,442.

This figure reflects the high number of companies that ended contracts with nonregular workers before a system that allows fixed-term employees to switch to indefinite-term contracts was fully implemented April 1, an observer said.