Japan eyes enacting new laws urging firms to let seniors work until 70

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/2/5 13:06:12

File Photo: Two senior citizens join a celebration of the Respect-for-the-Aged Day in Sugamo region in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Sept. 19, 2011. (Xinhua/Kenichiro Seki)

Japan's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a number of bills covering six new laws aimed at encouraging companies to allow employees to continue to work until the age of 70.

The move by the government is aimed at addressing part of the nation's growing demographic crisis that sees the population rapidly aging and simultaneously shrinking amid a falling birthrate.

This has resulted in an increasingly hollowed-out workforce and the severest labor crunch since the early 1990s, as the government is grappling to deal with ballooning social welfare costs with the rising numbers of Japan's graying population.

The government is hoping that once the bills are passed, companies, while not being legally bound to do so, will be more inclined to raise or scrap the retirement age, or simply allow their employees to work beyond any current age limitations.

The bills will also offer companies the option to provide work to retirees as outsourced contractors or freelancers, and for businesses to offer seniors beyond the current retirement age work related to firms' philanthropic or corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

The bills will be submitted to the ongoing Diet session, with the government hoping to have them enacted from April 2021.

Japanese companies at present are duty-bound to let their employees work until 65, but looking ahead the Japanese government is planning to make it obligatory for businesses to allow employees to work until they are 70, government officials said.


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