What's 2 minutes of work time worth? Depends on who you ask. For employees of a government office in Japan, it tantamounts to a pay cut. The government employees were penalised for leaving work 2 minutes before their scheduled exit time. They were penalised with a pay cut. Funabashi City Board of Education in Chiba Prefecture announced on March 10 that several staff members were disciplined for leaving work 2 minutes early.
The board found 316 cases of early departures from May 2019 to January 2021, involving seven staff members, as mentioned in a report by Japan Today. The employees explained that they left 2 minutes early to get on the earlier bus home. They said that they "wanted to go home early" and if they missed the 5:17 pm bus, then they would have to wait 30 minutes for the next bus to arrive at 5:47 pm.
The counsellor, in charge of attendance management was also penalised for defrauding timecards. The timecards recorded their departure as 5:15 pm. The counsellor, along with other staff members, were in fact, leaving from work at 5:13 pm to catch the earlier bus home.
The director as well as an elderly woman were issued written reprimands for leaving work early. Four others were given stern warning.
As per the daily, the counsellor was penalised with a one-tenth pay cut for three months.
This is not the first time such a case has taken place in Japan. In 2018, an employee of the waterworks bureau in the city of Kobe was penalised and reprimanded for leaving his desk 3 minutes before his lunch break to buy lunch.