Japan plans to introduce strict penalties for government employees who commit power harassment, or abuse of authority in workplaces, sources have said.

In serious cases such as those where victims suffer mental harm, offenders will be dismissed, the sources familiar with the plan by the National Personnel Authority said Saturday.

The agency plans to introduce the penalties in June, when a law is scheduled to take effect obliging large companies to take measures to prevent power harassment.

The move comes after the agency received a record high of 230 requests for consultation from government employees about power harassment in fiscal 2018, which ended in March last year.

Many prefectural and municipal governments are expected to follow suit.

In its related guidelines, the National Personnel Authority will say that power harassment can happen not only within a single workplace but across agencies.

It will also say that disrespectful acts by people using government services amount to power harassment.

The National Personnel Authority also plans to call on other government agencies to improve consultation systems and train workers to prevent the practice.

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