Financial incentives are offered to businesses that implement work from home (WFH) schemes to lower the number of people who commute to work.
The government is encouraging workers to relocate to less-populated areas of the country while still employed by businesses based in Tokyo.
Businesses are hoping to create an environment where workers can make vaccination appointments easily, which will hasten the vaccination process.
Staff working from locations other than their offices accounted for 19.2% of all workers in Japan in April, which is almost unchanged from levels in July 2020.
Japan’s SMEs and some members of the ruling party are opposing prime minister Yoshihide Suga's proposal to increase the minimum wage.
A survey carried out from late March to early April saw 40 companies saying that they have increased or plan to increase mid-career hiring.
The labour ministry is advocating for companies to adopt digital payrolls within the current fiscal year, though safety concerns remain.
A labour union, representing low-paid essential workers across different sectors in Japan, has urged for minimum wages to be raised.
Inflation-adjusted real wages, a key measure of households' purchasing power, rose 0.2% year-on-year in February, according to the labour ministry.
The Cabinet has approved bills requiring companies to retain their workers until they are 70 years old, effectively raising the retirement age from 65 to 70.
Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures are mandating food-and-beverage businesses to close earlier to reduce the risk of a rebound of pandemic cases.
The government will adopt measures to help medium and larger-sized companies boost capital funds.
Prime minister Yoshihide Suga has said he targets to raise the country's average minimum hourly wage to 1,000 yen (US$9.2) as soon as possible.
Companies are offering the lowest pay rises in eight years – signaling an end to former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus policies.
Measures include the implementation of a support programme for women on matters of hiring and promotion to upper management and executive roles.
Despite the country being in a pandemic state of emergency, its unemployment rate declined and job availability increased, government statistics revealed.
These teleworking cubes have since been installed at various stations and office building entrances across cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.
With the revision, fathers can take leave in two batches, and will receive employment insurance benefits equivalent to 67% of their pre-leave wages.
The speed of decline was the fastest since 2009, when the global financial crisis led to a drop of overtime wages by 13.5%.
Some 33.4% of non-regular workers received no compensation for forced leave, as compared to 14.8% for regular staff, a survey shows.
While the number of regular jobs increased 0.5% in 2020, that of non-regular jobs — including part-time roles — fell 3.9%.
The survey by business lobby Keidanren also found that the number of people commuting to work was reduced by 65%, or around 870,000.
Japan’s Business Federation says companies should have more financial leeway and pay hikes are unrealistic amid the economic uncertainty.
The government has been encouraging men to take paternity leave, but the practice is not common in Japan, which suffers from a declining birth rate.
The proportion of teleworkers fell to 22% in mid-January, from 31.5 % in May 2020, when the country was under its first state of emergency.
Member of the Japan House of Councillors Kuniko Inoguchi is backing a bill that would give workers a four-day work week.
The priority should be to protect jobs rather than a uniform pay hike, it said as it unveiled guidelines to the upcoming wage talks.
An OECD report has calculated that by 2050, Japan’s working-age population would have declined to 61.8%.
The amendment to the special measures law is set to be enacted by the Japanese government in early February.
Corporate workers can now search for jobs at schools in a new section of the education ministry’s website.