Are revisions to the Japan Labor Contract Law practically relevant to the foreign community?

Here is some recent commentary from the Osaka General Union.

The union has people asking the hypothetical, “what happens to my job after five years?” The reality is, I believe, that most employment contracts presented to foreigners have so many illegalities and loopholes within them, that very few foreigners last the five years.

(As an example: thirty day notice provisions in supposedly “fixed term” employment contracts. Patently illegal in Japan.)

Are there foreigners in Japan who have been working, in perma-temp status, under a series of contracts for five years? Yes. Does this modification to the law make it more likely that some foreign workers will be shown the door before Year Five? Yes. Right?

The larger issue is the number of times that foreigners who obtain regular employment status, under Japanese labor law, later have that denied—through one trick or another. People being perma-temped under a series of fixed-term contracts have a target on their back anyway, same as those whose sei sha’in status in the law is not recognized.

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2 comments

  1. Brent · March 11, 2013

    You seem to be well informed in the labor laws of Japan. My company has just presented me with this type of contract. After nearly 10 years of one year contracts, they are now saying that I have five more years. and then that’s the end (unless of course I don’t work for 6 months).
    I’d be very interested in hearing from you about how this has panned out for some people asking the questions.
    Could you get in contact with me? You’ll see my email from this post. Thanks.
    Brent

    • hoofin · March 11, 2013

      It sounds like they are trying to change you from a situation where you could argue the “repeated renewals” rule for regular employment, into one where they have the option of letting you go at the end of five years. You, of course, don’t have the option of refusing to sign and keeping your job. Interesting.

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