Large companies will be required to disclose gender pay gaps among their employees, now that the labor ministry has revised the relevant ministerial ordinance.
The new disclosure requirement aims to encourage businesses to reduce the gap and to promote female participation in the workforce.
The gender pay gap is wider in Japan than in other developed countries.
The new rules cover the roughly 18,000 companies in Japan that have more than 300 employees.
They will be required to compare the average pay of all female employees with the average pay of all male employees and disclose what women are paid as a percentage of men’s salaries.
They must also separately disclose the gender pay gap between permanent workers and non-permanent workers.
They must disclose this information on their websites or through other means, within about three months from the end of their business years.
Some companies will need to make the disclosures as early as October.
The government could decide to name and shame companies that fail to disclose such information and reject instructions by the local labor bureau to do so.
The Promotion of Female Participation and Career Advancement in the Workplace Law that took effect in 2015 had required companies with 101 or more employees to disclose some information related to women in the workforce.
These companies are required to choose one or more items from a list, which includes “the percentage of female employees among all employees,” and disclose that information.
The revisions made to the ordinance on July 8 added a new item called “gender pay gap” to the list as the one that companies with 301 or more employees must disclose information about.
Smaller companies with 300 or fewer employees have the option of choosing the item and disclosing their gender pay gaps, but it is not a mandatory requirement.