The Japanese government is mulling over plans to give Monday mornings off to its workers to fight overwork. The government plans to enact “Shining Monday” – where once a month, workers will get to have a lie-in on Monday morning, and only clock in after lunch.
The economy, trade and industry ministry believes that “Shining Mondays”, part of a wider campaign to address the punishingly long hours many Japanese work, will give employees a much-needed lie-in at the start of the working week.
However similar schemes aimed at reducing people’s workload have been largely unsuccessful.
The idea is linked to the introduction last February of “Premium Fridays”, where firms were encouraged to allow employees to clock off early on Friday and go home to their families or help boost consumer spending.
A survey conducted a year after Premium Fridays were introduced found that just 11.2% of employees had left work early on the designated day, with companies complaining they were too busy at the end of the month to give people extra time off.
The latest scheme envisages allowing employees to take the morning off on the Monday following the last Friday of the month. If it goes through, the scheme will be voluntary for companies to participate in.
The move comes as the country has been plagued by the rampant occurence of “karoshi” (death by overworking) over the last few years. The move aims to improve the country’s poor record on work-life balance.