The Japanese government adopted an action plan yesterday for work reform, calling for capping overtime at 100 hours a month, promoting equal pay for equal jobs and improving conditions for non-regular workers, according to the Japan Times.
"This will be a historic first step to change how people work in Japan, and 2017 will be remembered as the starting point," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The action plan calls for limiting overtime work to 45 hours per month and 360 hours per year in principle, while exceptionally allowing monthly overtime of less than 100 hours at busy times, with some additional conditions.
Meanwhile, the equal pay for equal work initiative aims to eliminate unreasonable disparities in pay when compared with full-time staffers.
In recent years, the number of non-regular workers has drastically increased, and they now account for about 40% of the total workforce. Workers on part-time contracts earn an average of about 60% of the hourly wage of regular full-time workers.
The government aims to submit related bills to the Japanese Parliament by the end of the year and will aim to implement the reform in fiscal 2019.