One of my students works for a major electronics manufacturer and has been working a lot of overtime over the past 6 months. Recently, she had planned to go to Australia for a vacation with her husband on the heels of a business trip to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, due to her poor health from working too much, she couldn't go to Australia.
During her last lesson with me, she related some details of her business trip to Hong Kong which were of interest. She said that she was feeling under the weather during the trip and her manager insisted that she return prematurely to Japan. He said that he, as the boss, was responsible for her health and well-being.
After a day's rest, she insisted that she was fine and could remain in Hong Kong for the duration of the trip. The manager told her she had to go anyway and reiterated his responsibility. My student said that she couldn't understand his logic because, if he were so concerned about her health, it would make sense that he'd stop working her so hard in Japan.
My student's naivete left me somewhat amused. I guess she's not cynical enough to realize that her boss had no concern for her health per se. He was worried about her becoming ill in Hong Kong because she'd have to go to a hospital there and the company would have to pay the expense. Additionally, her travel arrangements (hotel, plane tickets) may have to be adjusted in a manner which would cost the company more money. The reason he didn't express concern for her health in Japan is that working her to the point of illness in Japan costs the company nothing. If she misses work due to illness, her work just piles up and she has to work that much harder upon her eventual return.
Fortunately for her, she's being changed to a different area of work and will have a different boss. She told me her new boss will be a woman and her new work will be about dealing with advertising on the web in English. I'm not so sure she'll endure any less stress but she's fairly confident that her days of working overnight or until the wee hours of the morning are over.