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Government Promotes Widespread Adoption of Limited Regular Employment System in Japan

April 20, 2017

A government panel on regulatory reform is keen on widespread adoption and implementation of limited regular employment system in Japan, wherein regular workers are hired on open-ended contracts with limits on their work location or hours.

The government has been urging companies in the country to adopt this practice, as it believes this work style – a hybrid category between regular and non-regular employment will allow flexibility for working people to switch to permanent job status, Japan Times reports.

The Regulatory Reform Promotion Council plans to submit proposals in June for establishing certain set of standard rules, while promoting the limited regular employment system, such as banning inequitable treatment of workers under these contracts, and so on.

While the recommendations made by the government panel are aimed at alleviating persistent labour shortages, the limited regular workers would still have to put up with unstable job environment – with location limits and work conditions explicitly stated in their labour contracts.

See: Japan’s Immigration Policy in Favour of Highly-Skilled Foreign Workers

To address the growing skills shortage issue and increasing unemployment concerns, the reform panel, headed by Hiroko Ota, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, proposes that the government set rules to outline work conditions and establish a smooth process for limited regular workers to switch to regular status and vice versa.

In a public debate by the panel held last week, representatives of Keidanren, the nation’s biggest business lobby, and Rengo, otherwise known as the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, argued that each company should have its own rules, brushing aside calls for uniform government-led rules.

In an environment of labour norm changes, and new work styles coming to play, it is important for each company to define rules based on labour-management consultations, while clarifying working conditions to the workers before signing them up on an open-ended contract.

The panel is keen on soliciting more opinions and views from industry experts and companies, who have already started hiring limited regular workers – to understand the challenges faced by these enterprises in coping with new work models.

Also read: Rapidly Ageing Workforce: A Perennial Concern in Japan

Image credit: asia.nikkei.com

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