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Workers' nonlegally mandated fringe benefits dip 2.3% on year.

TOKYO, Jan. 23 Kyodo

The monthly total companies paid in fiscal 2000 in nonlegally mandated fringe benefits for workers dipped 2.3% from the previous year to 27,780 yen per worker, the Japan Federation of Employers' Associations said Wednesday.

Hardest hit among such fringe benefits were partial corporate allowances for employees' housing rents and rents for company built or maintained housing leased to employees, the federation said in an annual survey.

Such housing-related benefits fell 4.2%, followed by a 1.9% drop in corporate benefits associated with employees' cultural programs, sports and recreational activities, it said.

Such non-mandatory fringe benefits that took blows from the long recession also included maintenance costs of recreational resort facilities, entry fees for sports facilities and monetary gifts given at employees' weddings or funerals of employees' relatives.

In addition to such expenses, companies are required by law to pay some benefits, such as contributions to the state-run medical insurance program and to the state-run nursing care program for the elderly.

The ratio of non-mandatory fringe benefits paid by companies to overall fringe benefits expenses dropped to 29.8% -- the lowest level since fiscal 1956 when the federation began relevant surveys.

Overall monthly fringe benefits rose 1.1% to 93,203 yen. Of the total, legally mandated fringe benefits accounted for 65,423 yen, up 2.6%.

The federation attributed the relatively large increase in expenses of legally mandated fringe benefits mainly to the introduction of the state-run nursing care program for the elderly.

The latest survey covered 1,200 companies affiliated with the federation. Among them, 672 firms responded.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jan 28, 2002
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