Chinese woman, 25, demands workers’ compensation, says “Overtime made me an old lady”

On November 18 a young woman was spotted on the streets of Shenzhen City in Guangdong, China carrying a sign which read: “Overnight and overtime work has made me into an old lady. Both my love and work lives are miserable. I request approval for workers’ compensation.”

It was an unusual yet straightforward demand that triggered debate and reflection on the state of working conditions in the country.

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Stay out of Nagasaki if you want to go home on time: The most overworked prefectures in Japan

It’s well known around the world that many people in Japan are overworked. Long hours, overtime, working on the weekends; all of these less than ideal conditions can build up and create unhappy employees. But did you know that not all prefectures are equally overworked?

Japanese online job search site, Rikunavi Next, have ranked the 47 prefectures of Japan based on how many hours of overtime and how much compensation workers receive on average. How does your prefecture stack up?

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Under 50% of Workers in Japan Received Full Payment for Overtime According to Labor Survey

As the world continues to change, countries like China have been experiencing overall improvements to their quality of life while traditionally more developed countries seem to be slipping in terms of job security and benefits.

According to a yearly study conducted by labor research groups and think tanks, only 46.9% of workers in Japan receive their overtime in full. This is a significant 8.9% lower from just a year before.

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“Japanese People are Never on Time.” Twitter Comment Starts Online Debate About Overtime in Japanese Workplaces

In Japan, if you aren’t ten minutes early to an event, you are late.

Planning parties was especially difficult when I studied abroad in Japan.  If I told all of my friends to come to my apartment at 9pm, my Japanese friends would show up at around 8:55 (5 minutes late) and my American friends would roll in at around 9:45 (or whenever they felt like it).  To remedy this problem, I learned to tell my Japanese friends to come a half hour later than my American friends.  After that, everyone arrived to my parties at around the same time.

In the land where trains magically run on time every day and no one is ever late to work, you would think the world could agree that Japan has mastered the art of time management.

However, one Twitter user isn’t convinced of Japan’s ability to follow a time table.  The tweet in question was made by an Indonesian nurse who is working in Japan.  It reads, “Japanese people are never on time.  They are very strict when it comes to being late, but never stop working on time.”  

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