A man is seen outside Dentsu's headquarters in Tokyo. Photo: REUTERS file
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Dentsu again found violating rules on overtime hours

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It's about time to slap a nice hefty fine on Dentsu for this!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

In October 2017, a court ordered the ad agency to pay 500,000 yen in fines after labor authorities concluded the previous year that Matsuri Takahashi, a 24-year-old new female employee of company, committed suicide in 2015 due to excessive overtime work.

This says a lot about why these horrid abuses continue. Work someone to death and all you get hit with is a slap on the wrist that is meaningless to a company that big. It’s outrageous.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

No wonder there is a shortage of employees and why many companies are going to hire robots instead of humans. A robot doesn't need the downtime and still put out production with no complaints, at least for the time being.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

In other news: water is wet...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

In October 2017, a court ordered the ad agency to pay 500,000 yen in fines after labor authorities concluded the previous year that Matsuri Takahashi, a 24-year-old new female employee of company, committed suicide in 2015 due to excessive overtime work.

Even if that fine had had three zeros added to it, it still wouldn't have really incentivized them to change their practices.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

These unconscionable companies need to be punished and shamed big time.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@Yubaru

It's about time to slap a nice hefty fine on Dentsu for this!

Clearly the government is perfectly fine with issuing warnings for violations. Especially since it's not a first time offender.

In October 2017, a court ordered the ad agency to pay 500,000 yen in fines after labor authorities concluded the previous year that Matsuri Takahashi, a 24-year-old new female employee of company, committed suicide in 2015 due to excessive overtime work.

Also, fines like this won't. They avoid paying way more than that in hours that employees work. If my employee is putting in over ¥2,000,000 in overtime and I have multiple employees doing this, yet i am only fined ¥500,000 if one of them does. Then it isn't really a deterrent.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

A local labor standard office in Tokyo recommended it correct the situation in September.

Wow. Tough stuff. They must be quaking in their boots at this most stern of measures.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Laws that are only suggestion without any repercussion for breaking them, only in Japan.

¥500,000 fine is outright shameful. They have a term for working someone to death, and even determined that this was the case here. Simply laughable.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

They can't be fined because they own (pre-buy) nearly all media in advance... they need to be broken up they are a monster

9 ( +9 / -0 )

they need to be broken up they are a monster

Yes. The children of high-ranking executives can get away with inciting rape because of Dentsu's power. It's an evil company that considers itself beyond the law.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

There are only three penalties that might actually change Dentsu's behavior.

-- Formally advising the Board of Dentsu that, for any future breaches, regardless of how small, the Directors will be personally fined Yen 100 million each and will be forced to resign as Directors and as employees of Dentsu.

-- Similarly, for any future breaches, regardless of how small, a nationwide cease business order will be imposed, under which Dentsu may not sign any new contracts or contract for any new advertising or media time for any client for a period of no less than 6 months.

-- Finally, for any future breaches, regardless of how small, there will be a suspension of any new or amended contracts between Dentsu and any entity of the national government for no less than 1 year.

THAT is how you get them to change behavior.

But it will never happen.

Because they are protected.

Because they are Dentsu.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The authorities this time found several breaches of the rules. In one case, a sales employee worked overtime for 156 hours in a month.

Absolutely ridiculous.

The fine for this one case alone should cripple the company.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Dentsu had been repeatedly recommended by labor authorities since 2010 to correct its overtime working practices.A local labor standard office in Tokyo recommended it correct the situation in September.

Another warning....ah because the last one or the ones before that obviously proved sooo effective. Dentsu must be shaking in its boots.

In October 2017, a court ordered the ad agency to pay 500,000 yen in fines after labor authorities concluded the previous year that Matsuri Takahashi, a 24-year-old new female employee of company, committed suicide in 2015 due to excessive overtime work.

5000 bucks over the poor girl,s death ...beyond words.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The thing is, while Dentsu are well-known sc*mbags, no-one is obliged to work for them.

Yes, such labour practices should be reformed, but until that happens:

a) Don't work for them;

b) If you are working for them and the job is getting you down, find another and quit.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Dentsu had been repeatedly recommended by labor authorities since 2010 to correct its overtime working practices.A local labor standard office in Tokyo recommended it correct the situation in September.

> Another warning....ah because the last one or the ones before that obviously proved sooo effective. Dentsu must be shaking in its boots.

Not even a warning... just a recommendation.

In October 2017, a court ordered the ad agency to pay 500,000 yen in fines after labor authorities concluded the previous year that Matsuri Takahashi, a 24-year-old new female employee of company, committed suicide in 2015 due to excessive overtime work.

> 5000 bucks over the poor girl,s death ...beyond words.

Her family shouldn't accept the money and throw it back into the Judge's face

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not much of a penalty for such a big corporation, on the flip-side though if it is heavily penalized then it will find cause to layoff employees. There is no way that the top executives, board of investors or board members will let go of their profits to pay the fine, at least not today like in the past where companies had honor.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Dentsu is the Japanese establishment, with its tentacles deeply inserted into government, business and bureaucratic circles. They are virtually untouchable, as was demonstrated with how they got the 2020 Olympics for Tokyo. Work for them at your peril.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oh, it’s another warning. Dentsu must be shaking in their boots. There’s nothing like a series of string warnings from the paper tiger to get a business into shape. (roll eyes)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most of it has already been said. They and the rest of the companies will NOT learn until heavy punishments are involved. I mean, WHAT THE ...... a person killed herself because of the amount of work, if THAT doesnt say anything then I don't know what does. Im surprised people are still applying for a job there. Insane!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

found several breaches of the rules. In one case, a sales employee worked overtime for 156 hours in a month

That's crazy pills crazy. only work 159 hours for the entire month!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I ran an ad agency for ten years. NEVER would my people be forced to work more than 8 hours a day, including lunch. If we had a serious demand for something because of a client's true needs, they volunteered their time and were still paid time-and-a-half. The client paid. Everyone was happy. No one, and I mean no one, that works in Japan for more than 8 hours a day deserves pity. They bring it on themselves. There is no excuse for taking away employee's lives away from work, except in the Japanese way. And that disgusts me.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Extremely regrettable. The top level Dentsu managers should give up 10% of their annual bonus as punishment.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

the labor bureau is an accomplice, labor bureau only move when people died.

that is why j-company can maltreat staffs, no pressure at all. the law is not enforced.

if a staff complains, it gets fired or died, simply....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'd be interested to see a poll taken.... basically ask the wives of 1,000 salarymen in the Tokyo area. On average, during the work week, what time their husbands got home from work? Also, were they actually working late, out with a client, or just out drinking with cohorts on the company dime?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, the managers should be fired at the least or at the most, open to criminal prosecution for slaughter

4 ( +4 / -0 )

ie manslaughter

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Slave labor in peaceful times. Doesn’t take much to imagine under different circumstances.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For three years, I was invited to be a preliminary judge at an All Japan English Speech Contest held by an E.S.S. group at the same university from which Matsuri Takahashi graduated ... (which I shall not name in fear of breaching posting rules). As per my long standing policy, I accepted the invitation, provided my honorarium will be doubled, and then passed on to a charity of their choice ... my modest attempt to keep it real.

I spent many hours chatting with the contest student committee chairman about Matsuri Takahashi. He had taken a class at the university, taught by the lawyer representing the family of Ms. Takahashi, and he told me his big take away from the class was to careful. Even graduates of Japan's most prestigious university are just as vulnerable to the same pressures and harassment in the corporate world as any other disposable working class grunt.

I modestly included some suggestions to make the contest even more relevant by dedicating it to remembering her name, and offering invitations to mass media, select politicians connected to labor law, and top management of Dentsu.

For reasons unknown to me, when I attended the event, I was aghast. Not only were such relevant representatives from the real world not invited, but the two guest speakers who WERE invited, presented public speaking skills as a tool to control the narrative, and maximize self-promotion — to work your way up the hierarchical ladder to personal success.

I felt like I had been sucker punched.

The student committee leader I had those talks with is a senior this year.

Most likely only in my wildest dreams, he gets a similarly cushy job at Dentsu.

Karma's a bitch, baby ... but maybe only in my wildest dreams.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As an addendum to my prior post, two English phrases come to mind regarding the possible mind-set of those students regarding Dentsu:

1 — Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

2 — Know which side of your bread is buttered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

¥500,000 fine for being worked to death?

Surely this is a joke right?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

while Dentsu is also at fault here for not controlling the overtime of it's employees, it is also good to understand that many male Japanese office workers, prefer to work overtime for better salary and to avoid home, I see this with many people around where I live and with people close to our family...

It is also a cultural thing in my humble opinion... doing overtime looks good in the eyes of your manager...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there any Japanese company that doesn't exploit its employees in a similar manner?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Whit an apathetic population very little is going to change.

The local government will issue some “advices” and “urges” to the corporations just in order to save the face in front of the world press but the old good boy club will still be there and the lack of human rights won’t end.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toothless laws are for THEM. It's a no brainer that without custodial sentencing corruption and exploitation will continue.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Alfie Noakes

Yes evil indeed. I really agree with your comment. My question is. How deep does the evil run and is this company? Is Dentsu even capable of making real changes? It may look like change on the surface. But companies like this only care about one thing and one thing only.

Staying in the black. No matter the cost. Denstu has blood on it's hands. All for profit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@expat

To answer your question. Yes. Where I work.

https://www.yanase.co.jp/

Others too follow suite as best they can. Rakuten. Denka. Sony. Nissan. Karoshi is frowned on severly in these companies. I think the over work mentality is so ingrained in the Japanese work society that its going to take decades for the country to come to terms with the problem. Allot of over working can be eliminated by effectively handing over tasks, projects to others with online management systems or CRM. Or company progress portals. I knew this Japanese guy once who would not leave work until his task was done. I'd say to him. Hiroshi (Alias) You can finish this work in the morning. Go home and forget about it for a while. Or let someone else pick it up. But we would refuse. It was like, how dare I suggest someone else help him with comapny work that he viewed it his responsibility solely. When other's were willing to assist and were capable of doing that work. But his work was his life. He said this to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dentsu has a labor-management agreement which limits monthly overtime work to 45 hours per person. The limit can be extended to 75 hours if employees apply in advance.

Wait a sec... the employees are asking for all of this murderous overtime?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Overtime = better pay.

I would much rather work in a company with 100+ hours overtime per month for 15M salary than a no-overtime company with a 4 million salary.

Companies which have good work-life-balance typically translates to pathetic pay.

The fact that this came to light means Dentsu is actually paying and reporting overtime. Many Japanese companies are requesting their employees not to report overtime and they get away with both the labor law and paying overtime.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

blahblah222

Overtime = better pay.

I would much rather work in a company with 100+ hours overtime per month for 15M salary than a no-overtime company with a 4 million salary.

Don't you have a home-life? Wouldn't you rather not be tired and overworked? Or does the extra money really mean more to you than anything else?

Companies which have good work-life-balance typically translates to pathetic pay.

That's really scary, mate... I'd much rather have a good work/life balance than more money. Health and wellbeing are much more important than a few quid extra.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Thunderbird2

More like asking for these to be paid. If the employer give Taro 80hours worth of work a week : 40 hours are covered by his normal working time, around 11 hours are covered by the normal overtime allowance, he still has 29 hours of work left : so he apply for overtime then get 18 more hours covered if they agree to let him do these. If not or he did not ask, it is free work because obviously if he is not able to fit the amount of work they asked him to do in the designated time, it is his is at fault not the amount which was crazy. Some people have already explained that they had encountered this kind of situation for them and/or people around them.

@ blahblah222

The authorities this time found several breaches of the rules.

It is not say how they found it, so there is no guarantee that it was reported by Dentsu neither that it was pay.

In your example if the 2 companies have the same salary basis just how many hour a week do you think will be needed to get 15000000 ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The low fines are tacit encouragement to continue the behavior. Only in Japan would a PR company behave in a way that would seemingly destroy its public image. But in Japan, no irony is too glaring to be missed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nowadays If you're contact, Companies are asking you to book only the times you're contracted for regardless how long you actually work. Goodness knows what happens for Employees ... they even take work home with them...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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