February 4th 2020
TOKYO – Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved bills to urge businesses to let employees work until age 70 as the country seeks to expand the working population to cover rising social security costs amid the rapid aging of society.
While their provisions are not mandatory, the bills call on companies to choose one of five options, including raising the retirement age, scrapping it, or allowing employees to work beyond the age limit.
The two other options are for companies to outsource some operations to retirees who start their own business or become freelance, or to assign them to philanthropic projects run by the firms.
At present, Japanese companies are obligated to let employees work until 65.
The government plans to submit the bills — covering six laws — to the ongoing Diet session and hopes to put them into effect from April 2021. In the future, the government plans to make it obligatory for firms to let employees work until 70, officials said.
Also among the envisioned changes is the introduction of a system for combining the working hours of all jobs held by one person in certifying overtime-related illnesses or injuries, as the government pushes for company employees to hold second jobs. The practice has long been banned in Japan.