Japanese firms allow employees to take on second jobs

by L&D13 Dec 2016
A growing number of Japanese companies are now allowing their entrepreneurially-minded staff to have more flexible working arrangements and take on second jobs.

This comes as a response to Japan’s labour shortage as the Japanese government pushes for labour market reforms. Some employers also believe that employees can widen their perspective by having side businesses, as this will eventually enhance their performance in their primary jobs.

“I want my employees to have a side job that would help them grow, not for the sake of money,” said Kenta Kato president of a small online shopping business named en Factory Inc. Out of 25 employees, 10 have second jobs, as en Factory provides incentives for those who disclose the details of their side businesses.

“Since they need to steer two or more businesses at the same time, their management skills will automatically improve. I can tell that they now speak and act differently from before,” Kato added.
Major companies are also encouraging their employees to take on side jobs. Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. now has 25 employees with second jobs as the company gave the green light last April. Yahoo Japan Corp. also allows this practice, provided it does not affect their primary job.

However, labour economics professor Yoshio Higuchi pointed out issues that need to be resolved on this matter, such as working too many hours at more than two workplaces. He emphasized the need for a concrete legal framework to be set up.