Standards set for ‘name-only’ store managers

The labor ministry on Tuesday signaled its intention to scrutinize companies that appoint workers as store managers to avoid paying overtime, while giving them little or no managerial authority.

The practice is especially widespread in the restaurant and retail sectors where many so-called managers are required to work long hours.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare issued a notice to regional labor bureaus that includes specific standards to determine if “managers” of restaurants and retail outlets are actually managing.

Yoichi Masuzoe, the labor minister, said Tuesday: “Forcing an individual to work long hours at low pay is unacceptable. We will proceed with further improvements.”

The last time the labor ministry issued a notice defining standards for managers in a specific industry was 1977 when it targeted the banking industry.

The topic of store managers in name-only attracted national attention in January when the Tokyo District Court ordered McDonald’s Co. (Japan) to pay a store manager overtime pay because he had no actual management authority.