Thursday, June 6, 2013

Extremely excepted (1)

Recently, discussion about working is rising in Japan. Historically Japan has protective legislation for regular employment. It is not easy for an employer to dismiss an employee. The OECD advised Japan to relax the legislation of dismissal, to shrink the gap between regular and irregular employment in 2008. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party also referred to relaxation of the dismissal rule.

The Wall Street Journal: Japan Puts Off Plan to Make Firing of Workers Easier

Some people oppose the opinion. They claim that relaxation of dismissal rule would not promote the mobility of labor. According to them, employers in Japan dismiss the employees freely without hesitation.

Is it true? Actually, I heard some cases of dismissal not based on the legislation. They could resort to the labor standard office, but they did not. I guess that a lot of employees may accept illegal dismissal for some reasons.
If illegal dismissal is frequently occurring in Japan, the reform of the labor law would not make any change against labor market. Illegal dismissal should be rare exception to discuss the matter.

Japan has many exceptions.
And, excessive exceptions destroy the rule.

It is the same about the matter of overtime work. Recently “Watami”, a popular franchise chain of bars, is blamed as a dirty company. After a suicide case of a woman worked at Watami, working environment at Watami is deemed as problematic. Mr. Miki Watanabe, the president of Watami, claimed that Watami was quite fair to employees, based on some statistic data, such as the mean work time.

Official site of Miki Watanabe: Called as a dirty company (in Japanese)

I partially agree with Mr. Miki Watanabe. However, the true problem is not the mean work time. Overtime work without payment, so-called “service overtime”, is very frequent at some companies in Japan. These excessive works never appeared on the official statistics.

Health insurance also includes similar problem.

(To be continued.)

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