Dentsu clamps down on internal overworking culture following staff suicide

Dentsu has established the Dentsu Working Environment Reforms Commission. This commission looks to create a comprehensive reform plan to prevent repeated overwork issues. The reform will also review tasks around business planning and review the organisation, its personnel system and business flow, and implement various specific actions to curb the overworking culture.

This initiative will be headed by president and CEO Tadashi Ishii (pictured) . This comes following the Dentsu HQ being raided by Japanese officials after a young executive committed suicide due to work pressures.

In addition, the company said it is initiating an independent review into its company’s labor practices to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

“We have engaged a law firm that has never been involved in our company’s human resources and labor practices, in addition to the internal investigation that has already been conducted,” a press release read.

Dentsu will establish four “Internal Teams for Recommendations.” The members of these teams will consist of employees across the organisation and will build in opinions of junior employees and middle-level managers working in the company to hear their opinions on the culture. These groups will be established this month.

As a preventive measure, Dentsu is now prohibiting employees from working after 10pm and all lights in all buildings are turned off thereafter. Employees are now no longer allowed to stay in the office for personal matters. It also maintains an overtime work in excess of the statutory working hours at up to 45 hours per month, and to limit overtime work under the special provisions at 30 hours.

In an earlier statement to Marketing, spokesperson had stated: “Working after 10pm is prohibited in principle, and employees are instructed to go home as soon as possible and rest. In addition, with the objective of more detailed time management, we are looking at revising the online system used by all Dentsu employees to record the number of hours actually worked and the content of the work done each day.”

The above measures have been made taking into the account the country’s Labour Standards Act. An official statement by the company in their press release stated, “We take labour standards extremely seriously and want to proactively try to remove karoshi from Dentsu’s working culture.”

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