Date
19 October 2017
Uniqlo is implementing a four-day work week to promote diversity of work styles. Eligible staff can choose to work 10 hours rather than eight a day, so they can get the same amount of pay. Photo: Internet
Uniqlo is implementing a four-day work week to promote diversity of work styles. Eligible staff can choose to work 10 hours rather than eight a day, so they can get the same amount of pay. Photo: Internet

Japan retail giant to launch three-day weekend

Japanese retail chain Uniqlo will implement a three-day weekend beginning October to promote diverse work styles.

Fast Retailing Co., which owns the casual clothing brand, said the shortened work week will allow workers to spend time on child-rearing and nursing care.

In return, it will help the company keep qualified employees, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Japanese companies are facing severe labor shortages in the retail, restaurant and service industries.

About 10,000 full-time employees can apply for the program among the company’s 50,000 workers in 840 Uniqlo stores in Japan. 

Eligible employees can choose to work 10 hours rather than eight a day, so they can get the same amount of pay.

They will work on Saturdays and Sundays in principle and can switch back to a five-day work week every six months.

The move is expected to help Fast Retailing secure enough employees and reduce its high turnover rate as it seeks to increase the number of full-time locally hired employees from to 16,000 from 10,000.

The company will also consider introducing the new system for full-time workers at its headquarters and in its mass-market GU stores.

Amid criticism of its its working conditions, Fast Retailing has been taking a series of steps toward bringing overtime hours to zero and promoting the employment status of part-timers to full-time.

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