Japan's government plans to introduce stress checks for its workers, as the number of staff on leave due to mental illness remains high.
A report in the Japan Times says under the system, the National Personnel Authority plans to conduct a stress survey every year, based on provisions in the Industrial Safety and Health Act, which was revised last year.
The paper says the law will oblige private companies with 50 or more employees to introduce stress checks, will come into effect from December this year.
Employee stress checks will also be phased in at government agencies from December, sources talking to the Japan Times said.
According to the personnel authority, the number of government workers taking a month or more off due to mental illness rose from 1,050 in fiscal year 1996 to 2,218 in fiscal year 2001 and 3,376 in 2012. In 2013 it reached 3,450 workers.
Japan recognises overwork-related suicide, karojisatsu, and sudden death, karoshi, as state compensated occupational diseases.