Worker compensation cases due to mental stress up 60% in Japan in 10 years
TOKYO – The number of people subject to compensation for mental illness caused by stress at work increased more than 60 percent in Japan over the decade through fiscal 2019, a white paper on death and suicide from overwork said Friday.
Such cases involving women rose nearly 80 percent during the same period, with the annual report pointing out that many were caused by sexual harassment.
In fiscal 2010, which ended in March 2011, there were 308 cases of work-related illness due to depression and other mental disorders. The number rose to 509 in fiscal 2019, according to the paper, approved by the Cabinet the same day.
A health ministry official said the rise of recognized cases resulted from an increased public awareness about labor issues following workstyle reforms.
By industry, the highest number of cases was reported among manufacturers, followed by wholesale and retail businesses, and the medical and welfare sector.
Cases involving women increased to 179 from 104 over the decade. Sexual harassment was cited in 20 percent of the cases since fiscal 2012, when standards for certificating such compensation cases were revised.
In the cases involving men, the most common reason was “constantly working long hours.”
The white paper also looked into teleworking as a new work habit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It found that 66 percent of people who work away from the office every day sleep more than six hours on average, and those that telework are more likely to feel happier in their daily lives than those who do not.