business

Record no. of worker compensation claims filed due to mental illness

20 Comments

A record number of workers' compensation claims were filed in Japan in fiscal 2019 for mental illness caused by workplace stress, the health ministry said Friday.

The number of compensation claims filed totaled 2,060, an increase of 240 from the previous year, while 509 claims were successful. The figures for both claims filed and those that were successful were the highest since the ministry began compiling data in fiscal 1983.

Women made 952 claims, a rise of 164 from the previous year and higher than the number of claims filed by men. Among successful claims, 88 related to cases of suicide and attempted suicide.

A total of 79 cases pertained to bullying and assault, while 42 were related to workplace harassment including sexual harassment.

By industry, 48 cases, the highest number, related to the social welfare and nursing sector, followed by medical care at 30 cases, and cargo and transportation at 29 cases.

Young people appeared particularly vulnerable, with claims filed by those in their 20s increasing by 100 from a year earlier.

A total of 216 claims relating to brain and heart damage due to overwork were recognized, with almost a third filed by workers in cargo and transportation. Services and food workers were also significantly affected.

Of the 216 claims, 86 cases were recognized as due to karoshi, or death from overwork.

In Japan, death as a result of cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease is attributed to karoshi when an individual has worked more than 100 hours of overtime a month or an average of 80 hours of overtime between two to six months prior to the manifestation of symptoms.

Looking at the claimants' average monthly overtime, 33 people worked 120 hours to 140 hours of overtime a month before the manifestation of symptoms, while 73 people worked between 80 to 100 hours of overtime from between two to six months before.

Compensation was approved in nine cases of workers with flexible job hours that involved mental disease, cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease, and one case of karoshi. The individuals worked as system engineers or in other technical fields.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Everyone who works at a japanese company with a japanese management knows how hard that is.

Overtime like hell, Bullying, unnecsessary meetings and so on...every day is a fight!

5 of my japanese coworkers went already for mental illness.

I am working since many years in the same japanese company.

I can not count how many times I wanted to quit because of stress.

The only way I survived these many years in my company is to fight!

Fight with with your boss if he puts you under unbelievable stress, refuse to do the hell of overtime, fight with your coworkers if they try to bully you for their own carreer....and so on...

15 ( +18 / -3 )

These figures prove that mental illness is still massively under acknowledged and mistreated in Japan. Trying to fit a stress related illness to a bureaucratic guideline of having worked x hours of overtime during the preceding x number of weeks is not taking the issue seriously, it’s another case of trying to keep the numbers low.

The exact same approach was used with regards ‘qualifying’ for a PCR test - you must have had a fever for 3 days straight regardless of all your other Corona-like symptoms. If you didn’t have a fever for 3 days straight then you didn’t have the virus (even though it’s common knowledge people can be asymptomatic).

Japan can be such a cold hearted place sometimes.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@Monty

I had the same problem!

I changed jobs and didn’t have to fight with anyone....anymore!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Fight with with your boss if he puts you under unbelievable stress, refuse to do the hell of overtime, fight with your coworkers if they try to bully you for their own carreer....and so on...

Yep, that's actually how it works. I worked for several in a japanese company with a boss who kept harassing me from day 1. Gave a good scream at him and invited him to come outside with me. The second part never happened, he got the message. What's amazing is that all the colleagues were watching us (close to 150 on this floor) and nothing happened to me, I remained in the company 5 more years. So yes fighting back like a foreigner is the only way. Don't try to be a japanese or you'll be eaten alive because you will never be a japanese in the eye of your coworkers.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

the japanese workplace and work culture needs a complete overlap.

Monty- excellent post

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am really surprised at how Japanese companies operate.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What, 2,060 cases of mental illness nationwide?

If people really want for help, one single large company, like NEC or Fujitsu, would have 10 times that.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

went

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A friend of mine a few years ago was bullied by her boss to the extent she had to take 3 months off work for psychiatric reasons.

However, for 3 months she had to hide in her house because neighbors started spreading rumors about her not going to work.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

""The number of compensation claims filed totaled 2,060, an increase of 240 from the previous year, while 509 claims were successful. The figures for both claims filed and those that were successful were the highest since the ministry began compiling data in fiscal 1983.""

Only 24.7% were successful!!?

I rest my case, I have always felt that the mental illness Fraud Syndrome in Japan is raging unchecked by authorities. All involved are nothing more than a bunch of thieves exploiting the system with fraudulent claims.

The doctors, The so called patients, the pharmacies, and the drug makers are all exploiting a broken and loose system that allows con artists to abuse it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

A society in which adults feel they r being bullied by other adults has a lot of issues

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And let me guess, the majority of these youngsters who file these claims end up working and getting paid CASH in the night district as soon as their claims are approved.!!?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Work stress management course helps, stress is present in everyday life, learning to manage it is a key to defeating it.

But getting drugged and living on antidepressants is't the right path, especially when you are at the mercy of a so called doctor who is benefiting from you condition.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Mark

I envy you.

Seems like you don't have experience working for a company where either yourself, or your coworkers, were bullied/power or sexually harassed . If you did you'd be a lot more hesitant to jump in with speculative and accusatory comments.

To then go on to insinuate that people that claim successfully then go off to work in host(ess) clubs is astonishingly callous.

So yeah as someone who has witnessed first hand such harrassment in Japanese companies and the damage it does to the employees it's directed at I am envious of you're naivety.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Working for a Japanese company sucks. Stay away or 20 years later you will wake up and realize you never did anything with your life but make the boss wealthy, while you continue to sleep in your rabbit cage and eat conbini food.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The last time I had a closed door argument with my boss, I end up getting a Golden Retriever puppy from his wife.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The numbers quoted here are just tip of the icebug. Many cases go unreported with the bullied just quitting. Bullying is rife in Japan and present in almost 98% of workplaces.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I had a teaching job years ago at a college in Tokyo. When I was hired, the bucho told me that the number one rule was that we never disclosed our salaries to other teachers. This seemed odd to me, but I was new to Japan and complied.

One day a newly hired teacher asked me what my salary was. I said that we were told not to say and he basically said, you tell me yours and I'll tell you mine. So I did. Then all the other teachers in the staff room blew up. Someone was getting double my salary, others were getting less.

When the bucho turned up for the staff meeting, he was greeted by a riot.

After ten minutes of being shouted at, he actually burst into tears!

Someone said, "Come on. Let's go for a beer."

And so we did.

Invalid CSRF (When is this going to get fixed?)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The last time I had a closed door argument with my boss, I end up getting a Golden Retriever puppy from his wife.

@Mark - Was it a little female dog by any chance, because they might have been trying to send you a message about your behaviour!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Mark, wipe off your chin and stand up. Working for the man in Japan is tough!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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