Company welfare benefit systems

Authored by: Harald Conrad

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Business and Management

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415734189
eBook ISBN: 9781315832661
Adobe ISBN: 9781317859550


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Given that monthly salaries and bonuses make up over 80 per cent of a typical Japanese employee’s compensation package, it is not surprising that most observers have tended to focus primarily on changes to these pay components in discussions of changes from seniority-oriented to performance-oriented compensation systems since the 1990s. However, Japanese companies have traditionally been known for very comprehensive welfare benefit systems (fukuri kōsei seido), which have also undergone substantial changes in recent years. A full understanding of compensation system reforms thus requires a thorough understanding of the characteristics of and recent changes in these schemes. After an overview of the different types of employee-welfare benefits in the next (second) section of this chapter, the third section focuses briefly on pressures for change, while the fourth section discusses the nature of recent changes. The chapter finishes with a short conclusion. 1

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