• Jiji


A law revision to prevent power harassment went into effect Monday, obligating major companies to take preventive measures.

Under the revision to a labor-related law, big companies are obliged to clearly ban power harassment, or workplace bullying by those who take advantage of their superior positions.

Major companies are also required to set clear rules on punishment for such behavior and make them fully known to their employees.

Guidelines based on the revised law show examples of power harassment, such as physical attacks, loud reproaches hurled in a high-handed manner, words and deeds to deny personalities and ignoring victims to make them isolated.

Big companies are obliged to take a total of 10 preventive measures, including the clear ban and the establishment of punishment.

There is no penalty against companies that fail to meet the obligations. But such companies will be subject to administrative guidance, and their names may be disclosed.

Starting in April 2022, small and midsize companies will also be bound by the obligations under the revised law.

Following the revision, precision equipment-maker Olympus Corp. added rules against power harassment to its work regulations. Electronics giant Sony Corp. took similar action.

Retail group Seven & i Holdings Co. plans to hold online and physical seminars on power harassment for all employees.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp., which saw workplace problems including one that led to the suicide of a young employee, devised a reform program featuring stronger employee education on power harassment and measures to improve corporate culture.

“We’re working hard to create a workplace environment that never tolerates power harassment,” an official said.

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, wants all companies subject to the obligations to fully implement the 10 measures, said senior official Kumie Inoue.

Companies should also take action to prohibit power harassment of job-hunting students, freelance workers and other people outside their organizations, Inoue added.

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