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4-day workweek option proposed

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / NOV. 19
                                Japanese lawmakers say the workforce can adapt to a shorter workweek after its response to flexible work situations during the pandemic.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / NOV. 19

    Japanese lawmakers say the workforce can adapt to a shorter workweek after its response to flexible work situations during the pandemic.

TOKYO >> Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party is requesting that the government introduce an elective four-day workweek system allowing employees to take three days off per week, according to a draft of the ruling party’s proposal.

A top priority of the workweek would be to protect people’s jobs and lifestyles during the pandemic. The system would be an option to the standard five-day workweek, which would be maintained.

The party is crafting the proposal and will submit it to the prime minister.

The draft noted that workers can function well in flexible work situations, as is being illustrated by remote work arrangements in response to the pandemic.

It also said the popularization of the four-day workweek will promote diverse work styles to address work-life balance issues such as child care, elder care, medical treatment, higher education for career development, second jobs and volunteering.

The four-day workweek could contribute to revitalizing regional areas as well, if people in urban areas adopted the system. “We assume that people will work (part time) in rural areas one to two days a week,” the draft stated.

The draft proposed that, after the virus is contained, the government publicize the results of companies that introduced the system.

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