◆ Actual awareness of the Work Style Reform Law is still low
Many businesses have begun efforts to prepare for the enactment of the Work Style Reform Law, which will be carried out in stages from April this year. There are still, however, a large number of businesses that do not know the details of the law or when it will be enforced.

According to a report published by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan titled “A Survey on Work Style Reform Law Readiness,” the following percentages of businesses responded “do not know” to questions surrounding key details of the bill: 39.3% were unaware of “upper limit regulation of overtime work,” 24.3% were unaware of “mandatory use of annual paid vacation,” 47.8% were unaware of “equal pay for equal work,” 51.7% were unaware of “repeal of system that allows medium and small sized businesses to postpone premium rate for overtime work exceeding 60 hours a month,” and 53.0% were unaware of “mandatory workhour bookkeeping.”

◆ Around 60% of businesses with 50 employees or fewer were unaware of the “equal pay for equal work” clause
Awareness was especially low with concerns to “equal pay for equal work,” one of the special points of the Work Style Reform Law. Awareness was lower in comparison to the “upper limit to overtime work” and “mandatory use of annual paid vacation” clauses, with around 60% of businesses with 50 employees or fewer responding that they “did not know” about the law’s contents and enactment period.

◆ Less than half of businesses are adequately prepared
With concern to “upper limit to overtime work,” “mandatory use of annual paid vacation,” and “equal pay for equal work,” the survey found that less than half of businesses responded that they were “prepared or prospected to be prepared.” Even when limiting these responses to businesses who answered that they knew the names and contents of the law, less than 60% responded that they were “prepared or prospected to be prepared,” and only 36% were prepared specifically for “equal pay for equal work.”

◆ Businesses urged to prepare promptly
While the news is heavily covering the Work Style Reform, there remain many businesses that have not made proper preparations, some of which are even unaware of the bill’s contents. Because the enactment date is drawing near, and it takes time to make necessary changes, businesses are being urged to begin preparations quickly.