The European Court of Justice recently held that EU member states must require employers to set up an “objective, reliable, and accessible system” to measure each worker’s daily working hours in order to satisfy the Working Time Directive. In the 2019 case brought from Spain, the ECJ held that employers must establish systems that accurately record every employee’s working hours in order to make sure they are working within the legal limits.
To tackle the karoshi (“death by overwork”) problem, Japan enacted the Workstyle Reform Act in June 2018. The Act requires employers to implement specific measures to limit employees’ working hours and create a healthier and more flexible work environment. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has set different compliance deadlines ranging from April 1, 2019 to April 1, 2023 for different requirements of the Act. This staggered schedule gives employers sufficient time to amend their work rules and put compliance mechanisms in place. The compliance deadlines also depend on the size of the employer as defined below.