New Anti-Power Harassment Law (Anti-Bullying Law) in Japan

New Legislation Enacted

On May 29, 2019, a new anti-bullying law, known as “Anti-Power Harassment Law,” was enacted and will take effect within one year from June 5, 2019. This law requires the employer to take appropriate actions to prevent employees from engaging in “power harassment,” which involve 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 new law also prohibits retaliation against the employees who bring the claim of power harassment.

Pressure on Employer to Provide Support to Employees Beyond Retirement Age

Trend

On May 15, 2019, the government presented the general design of a new law for the stability of employment up to age 70. Currently, employers are required to continue employing employees up to the age of 65, through one of three options: (i) raising the retirement age to 65; (ii) abolishing the retirement age system; or (iii) rolling out the re-hiring system after the age of 60 through 65. Under the new law, however, for employees between the ages of 65 and 70, the employer will be required to select one of seven options: (i) raising the retirement age to 70; (ii) abolishing the retirement age system; (iii) providing a re-hiring system through the age of 70; (iv) referring the new position to another employer; (v) providing some funds to be a freelancer; (vi) assisting the employee to open a new business; or (vii) providing some funds for the employee’s activity at NPOs.