Japanese companies will check their employees’ stress levels, starting on Tuesday, as part of efforts to prevent work-related mental disorders.
The government is requiring firms to make the checks because of the increasing number of workers who fall ill due to stress in their places of work. Firms with 50 or more employees will have to conduct the checks once a year.
Companies will ask their employees to fill out a questionnaire about their work environment, relationships among workers, and any changes in their mental and physical conditions.
Those employees considered to be under too much stress will be eligible for personal guidance from doctors.
Companies will need to reassign workers or reduce their work hours if the doctors deem it necessary.
During the year through March, about 500 people were granted workers’ compensation benefits because of depression and other mental disorders.
Katsutoshi Tsukamoto of the health ministry said more than 50 percent of Japan’s workers have complained of work-related anxiety and stress in recent years. He said this creates the need to pay attention to their mental health.
He expressed the hope that the new system will help prevent mental disorders and improve the nation’s work environments.
Source and image: NHK