On October 24 2011 the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced that amendments will be made to the Employment Safety and Sanitation Act in 2012.

On the question of employees' mental health, and employers' rights and obligations on this issue, the bill of amendments stipulates that:

  • in certain circumstances, employers are required to conduct basic medical check-ups in respect of their employees' mental health;
  • employees are required to undergo such check-ups;
  • the doctor who administers the check-up must communicate the results to the employee and must not share them with the employer without the employee's consent; and
  • if an employee who has received his or her results wishes to consult a doctor for more detailed information, the employer must enable the employee to do so.

Among its other provisions, the bill stipulates that employers must prohibit employees from smoking in the workplace, except in a designated and separate room.

For further information on this topic please contact Hideki Thurgood Kano at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune by telephone (+81 3 6888 1000), fax (+81 3 6888 3050) or email ([email protected]).