Japan’s DPJ backtracking on reform of labor dispatch system.

The Japan Times reports that Minshuto (DPJ) will propose a modification to the Worker Dispatch Law to prohibit certain types of employment from being anything other than direct hire.

The article describes this as “temp” hiring—which is truly what it is. But technically, these dispatches (or “haken”) are the assigning of an employee who works for one company, “the temp agency”, over to another company.

Additionally. the article also refers to changes in the Labor Contract Law–it looks like– to beef up the provision about multiple short-term contracts. Sometimes, to keep an employee out of full-time, regular, status, an employer will utilize a series of short term contracts. This way, they can dismiss the worker whenever the company decides it’s time not to renew the contract. (So there can be situations like 25 3-month contracts, spanning 6 1/4 years, and so forth.)

Where this concerns foreign workers, as I’ve blogged before, is that the labor rules create a hierarchy where the “outsider”, as someone not so well connected in Japanese society, is placed into these inferior work categories.

I have put out a post or two about this phenomenon over the past couple months.

In short, what happens here in Japan is that as a foreigner, you will more likely than not be shoved into the least desirable categories of employment. For the most part, this is done by the Japanese directly. However, quite often your fellow countrymen will get into the act, hiding behind the Japanese (or using Japanese underlings to do the deed for them!)

If Minshuto can tighten up the sanctioned abuses in the Japanese employment system, then that would be great. But practically what business interests, and those already at an unfair advantage because of how the law works, will no doubt do is scream bloody murder until whatever revisions are watered down to the point of them just being, well, water.

Hiring must be on a more equal basis. Otherwise, you create these caste systems of the connected and the disenfranchised. Restoration of labor laws should be looked at with that goal in mind.

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