Osaka municipal government launches mandatory off-duty initiative: computers shut down automatically at 6:30 a.m. daily

On November 27th Yoshihiko Yoshimura, the governor of Osaka Prefecture, Japan, announced plans to introduce a mandatory shutdown of all office computers at 18:30 a day in the winter of 2020 in an effort to reduce overtime work by government employees. In other words, government employees will be forced off duty. The mandatory work-off initiative relates to the Labour Reform Act, which was partially implemented in April 2019.

The main content of the bill is to limit the overtime limit, realize “equal pay for equal work” to resolve the unreasonable treatment gap between formal and informal employees, and introduce a “time-out system” that excludes some high-income professional positions from the labor time limit.

Osaka municipal government launches mandatory off-duty initiative: computers shut down automatically at 6:30 a.m. daily

Osaka Prefecture has been working to raise awareness among employees to reduce overtime, and internally has begun to use AI to automatically create meeting minutes and take steps to eliminate overwork. However, after 2018, overtime work at Osaka Prefecture has increased again due to major events such as the earthquake north of Osaka and Typhoon No. 21 and the new G20 Osaka Summit.

It is reported that Osaka Prefecture staff work edgy hours of about 1 million hours a year, the total amount of overtime pay about 3 billion yen (about 200 million yuan).

As for the specific operation, officials said that without a prior request for overtime, all office computers would pop up at 18:20 a.m. with a “please close your work and turn off your computer” warning and shut down automatically after 10 minutes.

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