Dentsu is to pay a total of 2.4 billion yen (US$22 million) to employees for overtime worked between March 2015 and March 2017.
Shusaku Kannan, a spokesperson for Dentsu, told Campaign that the payment was in recognition of hours staff had logged as “self-training at the office”.
“Based on the guidance of the authorities in Japan, we have decided to pay overtime for self-study or other reasons that helped generate ideas, if it was work-related,” Kannan said.
The move follows Dentsu’s conviction in October of violating labour practice regulations by fostering a culture of extreme overwork. The company was fined a nominal 500,000 yen ($4,500) fine at the time of the ruling, which a number of media reports criticised as being too low.
Dentsu, along with several other agencies in Japan, is in the process of implementing reforms that it hopes will improve its working environment. The agency is a member of the Japan Advertising Agencies Association, which is working with three other industry committees to develop guidelines for a better style of working in Japanese advertising.
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