October 31, 2013


Itochu to Ban Late Night Overtime and Encourage Morning-focused Working Style

Keywords: Non-manufacturing industry Well-Being 

Itochu Corp., a major Japanese trading company launched a new initiative on October 1, 2013, to shift its employees' working style from a night-focused style to a morning-focused style based on working hours from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., after reviewing the employees' working style from the viewpoints of increased efficiency, health management and ensuring customer-oriented attitudes.

The company has been striving to reduce overtime hours in terms of managing their employees' health and encouraging more efficient operations, which has achieved some positive effects, yet they found further reductions in overtime difficult under current circumstances. This made them require employees to do overtime the next morning when it is unavoidable, while maintaining the basic rule that the employees should do their best to complete duties without overtime.

Specific rules are prohibiting overtime after 10:00 p.m., paying 50 percent extra for overtime up to 9:00 a.m. and providing free light meals for those who start working before 8:00 a.m.

The initiative put into practice after providing briefing sessions to employees, consultation with the labor union and modifications of their employment regulations and other rules. The practice started from October 1, 2013 and will continue until the end of March 2014, after which the company will decide whether to continue the program by evaluating its effects with a review of overtime hours during the previous six months. According to the company, the new initiative will support work styles of female employees who care for their families and/or children.