Japan Data

Overtime Affects Career Change Choices for 84% of Japanese Workers

Work Economy

Overtime is a significant factor for many Japanese workers looking to change jobs mid-career, according to a recent survey.

En Tenshoku, a career-change support website operated by En Japan, recently asked its users if overtime work and the average amount of overtime hours affected their choice of company when searching for a new job. A total of 84% respondents said that it either “greatly” or “slightly” affected their decision. By age group, it had a significant effect on the majority of respondents in their twenties and thirties, indicating that younger people have a strong tendency to place more importance on a work-life balance.

One person commented that “I was working at a company where overtime was expected, but I was forced to stamp my timecard so I wouldn’t go over the deemed overtime rate. I want to move to a company that pays fair wages, even if I do overtime.”

Do overtime requirements and hours affect your decision in a career change?

From April 2023, the amount of overtime premium that small and medium enterprises have to pay to employees who work more than 60 hours a month was raised from 25% to 50%. When respondents were asked if they were aware of that, less than 40% said they were, while 61% answered they had not known that was the case.

Were you aware the overtime premium for working more than 60 hours a month was raised to 50%?

The majority of people had a positive response to the increase in the premium, with the total percentage of those who said they “agree” and “very much agree” accounting for 80%. However, some also raised concerns, including “it will prompt normalization of overtime, meaning if people want to earn more money, they will have to put up with working overtime” and “some people will deliberately work inefficiently so that they can get overtime pay.”

Opinions on the Raised Overtime Premium

The survey, aimed at users of the En Tenshoku website, was conducted from late February through late March 2023. There were 12,940 valid responses.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

employment overtime career