The conversations of life

Not fake news: Japan’s workforce “unhappy” about new 10-day holiday allowance


This would never happen in Australia.

The ten-day break is set to take place from 27 April in honour of the Emperor’s abdication from the throne – before the traditional ‘Golden Week’ holiday that falls in early May.

 But Japanese employees – who take on some of the longest working hours in the world – are struggling to decide what to do with this rare period of relief.

(Cue every Australian bursting out laughing.)

 A recent survey by local publication Asahi Shumbun found that 45 per cent of Japanese people “felt unhappy” about the lengthy vacation, while only 35 per cent admitted they felt somewhat happy, NDTV reports.

Part of the hesitation is caused by some workers being on contracts, with many concerned they might lose income over the break – and some parents are also worried about finding after-school care for their kids. But the rest just aren’t comfortable with taking time off.

In 2017, a survey by Expedia Japan found workers generally only used about half of the vacation days owed to them, and 63 per cent felt guilty for taking paid leave.

But Japanese workers may have to get more comfortable with the idea of a holiday soon, with a new law taking effect this month that requires employees who are due over 10 days of paid leave to take at least five days off a year.

Clearly, they’ve never heard of a ‘sickie’.

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