Maßnahmen zur Verwirklichung der „Work-Life-Balance“ im japanischen Recht
This article comments on Japanese measures to implement a work-life balance for employees with children or with family members in need of care. They are part of a program of counter-measures set off since 1990 to counterbalance the decline in the birth rate and the aging of society in Japan.
In addition to holidays, the Law on Holidays for Education and for the Care of Family Members (1991) grants employees support such as a restriction on overtime, a release from nightwork, the provision of a day nursery, and a reduction of working hours, including flexible working hours and a shift of start and end of work. Employers have to offer at least one of those support measures, but employees cannot demand a certain measure – instead, they depend on the choice made by the employer. Therefore, employees' needs are often not satisfied, and measures aren't taken up as they should be. The financial coverage is left to education benefit or care benefit on the basis of the Law on Unemployment Insurance, so that only insured persons are covered.
Along with the problems of implementation, issues such as the establishment of a system of negotiations between employees and employers for a just treatment of parttime employees and the advancement of employees with special contracts will have to be tackled in the future.