The Skylark Group said it would pay part-time workers by the minute worked rather than rounding up time to five-minute increments from July 1, in addition to compensating those who have been wronged in the past.
Currently, the company, which operates about 3,100 family restaurants across the country, including Gusto and Bamiyan, rounds up the working time of these workers to less than five minutes.
The company also said it would pay about 90,000 of those workers for their rounded, unpaid hours over the past two years.
The payment will total about 1.6 to 1.7 billion yen ($12 to 12.7 million) for their past work, he said.
Hirofumi Suga, 26, who works part-time at a company outlet in Tokyo, said at a press conference on June 8: “One minute, or one second. It’s the same that I get paid to break my back.
He was tasked with delivering mostly door-to-door and said, “I questioned the company’s practice of rounding time to less than five minutes each time, and my frustration built up. “
He joined the Tokyo Tobu National General Workers Union and urged the company to pay for the minutes worked, rather than rounding up the time.
Suga said he would receive a total of 64,000 yen for the last two years of work.
The company said in writing, “We don’t understand that managing attendance by rounding it up to five minutes is itself illegal.”
The decision to move to a per-minute basis was based on “the goal of maintaining a relationship of trust” with part-timers and others, he said.
Other family restaurants pay their employees for every minute worked.
Coco’s Japan Co. used to round up workers’ time to 15 minutes. But starting last fall, it changed to counting by minutes.
Denny’s Japan Co. and Royal Host Co. have been counting worker time in minutes for more than 10 years, the companies said.
A representative from the Ministry of Labor said: “Under the Labor Standards Act, it is not acceptable to round fractions of time. If (a company) does not pay for the time, it may be considered illegal.
(This article was written by Hiroki Hashimoto, Kentaro Uechi, Yuji Yamashita, and Hideaki Sato.)