Tue, Jul 23, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Election winner Abe pledges ‘decent work’

AFP, TOKYO

Among these conditions are a designated workplace or job category, which potentially means a company can get rid of employees more easily if the particular job category is no longer required.

Under the current labor rules, managers have to keep workers on, which may mean sending them somewhere else in the country. If they want to keep their job, employees must accept any role their company gives them.

That frequently means husbands are away from their families for the working week while they are stationed elsewhere in the country.

This change is also aimed at improving the low rate of female participation in the workforce, say advocates, because a more predictable job category and workplace could create jobs that are easier for mothers to balance with childcare needs.

Tokyo labor lawyer Ryo Sasaki welcomes talk of labor-law reform, but cautions that new rules cannot just be framed for the benefit of companies.

“If you want to loosen rules of firing, you also need to tighten rules on working conditions,” he said, adding there needed to be a focus on overtime.

“Many people who have come to us recently have problems with jobs that have long hours and low pay,” he said.

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