Why is “overtime work” generally accepted in Japan

I would like to look back on the history of overtime in Japan and consider the background behind overtime culture in Japan.

From when did you have been working overtime in the first place? The idea of ​​”overtime” in Japan begins with “factory work” occurred in the early Meiji period.

In the case of agricultural work, the time during which work can be done is limited to daytime, but if it is a factory it can be operated even at night. And if you work you can make something more workable, and in the times when things are missing you make profits the more you make it.

So, to “make money” is “to continue working”. In the era of industrial production, it took time to gain “profit”.

At that time, regardless of day and night, children and women, elders also started working and worked for 14 hours and 16 hours. The state of such harsh labor is also famous for being drawn in “female artifice” written by Koichi Hosoi.

However, there is no concept of “overtime” yet at this time. Because there is no agreement on the prescribed working hours and the rules themselves, we do not call the overtime that overrides there from “overtime”.

At that time there was no restriction on working hours itself, rather than “work exceeding the prescribed time = overtime”, the problem of “super / overloaded work” in a simpler sense was a problem.

This was revised in 1911, the “Factory Act” is enacted. According to the Factory Law, concerning women and children, legal restrictions were made for the first time in this country’s working hours.

In addition, around this time, the scientific management method by Frederick Taylor (the methodology of worker management) is transmitted from the United States, and starting to think to work until it collapses with long working hours is rather “inefficient”.

By the way, in Japan it was around the mid-1930s when the word “overtime” began to settle.

And after the war, it was the epoch making for the history of overtime work Established the “Labor Standards Law” in 1947. As a result, the statutory working hours were determined to be 8 hours a day, 48 hours a week (after that, revised to 40 hours a week in 1987, which took effect in 1994).

At the same time, Article 36 of the Labor Standards Act was also established, which allows us to negotiate an agreement between labor and management to exceed that limit.

As far as this common name “36 agreement” and “special agreement 36 agreement” is concluded, the fact that it was possible to work on the blue sky in fact despite restrictions is a “division fishing” where overtime is rooted in Japanese corporate culture It will be one of them.

However, overtime work has not always been treated as a bad guy.

For Japanese companies, the cost of overtime work in personnel expenses rose as the economy improves, and it functions as a “regulating valve that matches the economic fluctuation” that goes down if it gets worse. Instead of doing “personnel dismissal”, Japanese firms reduced production by reducing “not to work overtime”, thus reducing costs. Thanks to that, dismissal is not done much in Japan.

In addition, back in time, in the 1950s when labor disputes were vigorous, we made overtime work for workers who are compliant with the company and management, do not allow overtime work for those who are not obedient or extremely thoughtful, There was even a word “overworking overtime”.

In other words, overtime work was “jiyoungi”. However, once you get it, people can not let go of this “go” and family will also optimize for that kind of life.

On the premise of the absence of a husband who has not come home easily because of long hours work, a housewife carries out housework and childcare alone. This is a gender role division of labor that “husband works outside, wife is housework at home”.

When it becomes commonplace, my wife recognizes overtime as a living expenses and can not let go. Thus my family “learns” overtime overtime “lifestyle.

Above, Jun Nakahara, co-authored by Persosol Research Laboratory “How to work from overtime work tomorrow, how do you work?” “(Kobunsha New Books). We analyzed more than 20,000 survey data and thoroughly clarified the actual situation of overtime from all angles.

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