Education employee in Japan committed suicide due to overworking: reports

Employee clocked over 100 hours of overtime prior to death

Education employee in Japan committed suicide due to overworking: reports

Excessive overtime work made an employee of Kumamoto Prefectural Board of Education commit suicide in fiscal 2022, according to reports.

The education board confirmed to The Mainichi Shimbun the cause of death of the administrative office employee, who remains unnamed.

According to the report, the Kumamoto branch of the Fund for Local Government Employees' Accident Compensation declared that the employee's death was work-related and informed the family on March 25.

The educational board said the employee clocked in more than 100 hours of overtime almost every month for several months prior to their death.

The board's education policy division offered its condolences to the bereaved family.

"We will work to prevent a similar case from happening again," it said as quoted by The Mainichi Shimbun.

To avoid similar incidents in the future, the educational board said it has been managing computer usage time and will introduce an "internal system" to require a minimum of nine hours between shifts.

Japan's mental health cases

The report comes as mental health issues spiked in Japan in the past year, with younger employees most vulnerable to experiencing mental health issues.

Japan Productivity Centre attributed the rising mental health issues to shifting work styles post-pandemic, making it stressful for younger staff who were unable to establish interpersonal connections or work skills while they were still under remote work.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide — free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via text 1-767, email [email protected] or chat

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