Revisions to Data Privacy Act

New Legislation Enacted

On June 12, 2020, Japan amended the Data Privacy Act. The amendments, which will become effective within two years from that date, expand the rights of data subjects by relaxing the requirements to make objections to data processing and to request data deletion. Additionally, data controllers are required to report any data breach to the government and the data subject. The maximum amount of fines to corporations is increased up to JPY100,000,000. Moreover, data controllers handling personal data of Japanese individuals are subject to extraterritorial application of the act and data subjects must be notified when their data is transferred outside of Japan.

Revisions to Whistleblowers Protection Act

New Legislation Enacted

The amended Whistleblowers Protection Act requires employers of more than 300 employees implement a whistleblowing system and designate an employee to handle whistleblower claims. The amendments will become effective two years from June 12, 2020, when the law was amended. The new protections loosen the requirements to present claims, enlarging the scope of protected employees (i.e., former employees within one year from separation and registered corporate directors) and protected claims, and shielding whistleblowers from liability to the damages that the company incurs.

New Government Support to Combat COVID-19

New Regulation or Official Guidance

As of June 12, 2020, a new government-sponsored unemployment insurance program pays 80% of the salary of employees placed in unpaid leave.

The Anti-Power Harassment Law Now In Effect

Upcoming Deadline for Legal Compliance

The new “Anti-Power Harassment Law” (anti-bullying law), which was enacted on May 29, 2019, became effective for large employers on June 1, 2020 and will apply to small-size employers as of April 1, 2022. As we reported in Quarter 2 of 2019, this law requires the employer to take appropriate actions to prevent employees from engaging in “power harassment,” which are any activities that take advantage of their powers at work, exceed the employee’s necessary and reasonable scope of duties, and may be harmful to the work environment. The determination of the size of the business is based on a number of factors; however, generally, employers with 50 or fewer employees will be considered as small employers.