ibusinesslines.com February 21, 2018

Japan ad agency Dentsu fined for making employees do too much overtime

07 October 2017, 09:21 | Justin Tyler

Dentsu's world headquarters in Tokyo. Credit iStock

Dentsu's world headquarters in Tokyo

"We take this ruling very seriously, and extend our deepest apologies to stakeholders and the general public for the concern we have caused", the company said in a statement.

The construction firm employee, who began working on the project in December, clocked 200 hours of overtime in the month before his body was found in April with a note that said he had "reached the physical and mental limit".

Dentsu's Takahashi had worked 105 hours of overtime in the October of that year after which she fell into depression.

Dozens of other people die every year from heart failure, strokes and other conditions brought on by punishingly long working hours. "We hope that the sorrow of the bereaved family will never be wasted".

Karoshi became widely recognized as a phenomenon in the late 1980s, as stories of blue-collar employees keeling over at work appeared to expose a sinister side to Japan's postwar economic miracle.

The persisting issue in Japan was made even worse after 24-year-old Dentsu employee Matsuri Takahashi committed suicide in April, just two years after Sado's case.

"I'm going to die". Weeks before she died, she posted on social media: "I want to die".

Later that year, 34-year-old maintenance worker Kiyotaka Seriwaza killed himself after putting in 90-hour weeks at a company from which he had tried, unsuccessfully, to resign.

The high-profile case led to renewed calls for changes to the country's notoriously long working hours and illegal unpaid overtime.

Overwork is a major issue in Japan, where more than 2,000 people killed themselves a year ago due to stress related to work, according to the government.

Companies have been joining the effort, taking steps to encourage workers to actually leave work, use their vacation days, and spend more time away from work.

In addition to the fine Dentsu CEO, Toshihiro Yamamoto, will take a 20 per cent pay cut for six months. Japan Post Insurance, a life insurance company, shuts off its lights at 7:30 p.m. Yahoo Japan has been considering a four-day workweek.

Labor inspectors ruled that her death was from overwork.

She was discovered in her bed, holding her cellphone in her hand.

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