Expedia.co.jp has reported international rate of taken annual leave comparison.(Japanese Text Only: https://welove.expedia.co.jp/infographics/holiday-deprivation2018/). Taken holiday in Japan was 50%, 10 out of 20 days which is ridiculously low, and in the UK 97.4%, 27 out of 28 days. In the report, they are expressing this low percentage is caused by Japanese modesty. Many Japanese people are worried to bother colleagues by asking to cover their absence, and it is more important to maintain good relationship at workplace then pushing their right. I am calling this “Art of Harmony”.
The UK rate is 96.4% is not too bad comparing to 100% taken European developed countries like Germany and France where labourers’ rights are well protected by regulation or forced by labourers’ action.
In the UK, there are 7 days of bank holiday in 2019 which we all looking for, and the 7 days are inclusive of 28 days of annual leave. In Japan, annual leave is 10 days and 1 day added each year of consecutive service to a company up to 20 days in 6.5 consecutive years of service. There are 17 days of public holiday which are not inclusive of the 20 day annual leave, making 37 days in maximum. I think this 50 % result means generally people take 10 days + 17 days of public holiday, totaling 27 days. In the UK, the rate is 96.4% of 28 days, which is 27 days. It is the same! I remembered that my colleagues often commented how often Japan had public holidays when I was working with people from other countries, and reminding them about Japanese holiday. Is another thing in common in the UK and Japan “suicide rate in man in 40’s”? I will have look into this in another occasion.
If Japan is serious about raising the rate, they already know labour law needs to get updated to apply penalty to employers for unused holidays each year. However, they are not serious enough to do so, and instead, they are enjoying retaining Japanese art of harmony by increasing number of public holiday which is for everyone in the office to take off. I personally like the “art of harmony” of Japan, taking care of each other and pubic feeling, balancing between assertiveness and giving way in a very particular manner. This may be forced to change when new immigration law is launched and Japan become more open to foreign workers. Any way, I personally never had any trouble taking holiday which is already quite normal in “white” companies, and problem is “black” ones. Some of the “black” listed companies are even global enterprises. I truly wonder how does it happen under what kind of business control?