Are university teachers in Japan covered by the ‘five-year rule’?

By Louis Carlet (Hifumi Okunuki is off this month):

My colleague Gaetan and I recently presented a seminar on the “five-year rule” to a group of Francophones at an event hosted by the Francais du Monde — Association Democratique des Francais a l’Etranger (French of the World — Democratic Association of French Abroad).

Gaetan had prepared an organized lecture, with charts and translations projected onto the wall behind him. We worked to convince the attendees that next year they could use the so-called five-year rule to become permanent employees if they had served more than five years in fixed-term contracts. Many of them were university teachers.

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SKYPICSSTUDIO | ISTOCK

ちゃんととろう、有給休暇

年次有給休暇(以下、有休)。それは労働者にとって、「完全なる労働からの解放日」である。心身共に健康に、長く安定して働くためにも、きちんと休暇をとる権利を休むことはとても大切なことだ。しかしながら、有給休暇をとるために不必要に高いハードルを設定したり、チクチクと嫌みをいって、休暇をとることをためらわせたりする職場も、残念ながら存在する。

とくに、学校の先生やスクールの講師など、「お客様=生徒」である場合にそうした傾向が多いようだ。つまり、「お前は生徒のことよりも、自分の休みを優先させるのか?!」といった、自己犠牲を強いるような空気である。先生が充分に休暇をとれないで自己犠牲的に働いたとしても、決して良い授業などできないのに…。

ということで、今回は、「労働者がきちんと夏のバケーションを楽しむことができる」ために、有給休暇の制度について、改めて振り返っておこう。ここからは、よく相談を受ける質問に答える形で進めていく。

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Japan is not an “at will” employment country.

Many of our members are not Japanese and work at small or very small companies. Working at small companies has many advantages: it’s often more human and you have a direct relationship with the boss. However, if there are problems, those good points often turn into bad ones, since you can be on the receiving end of arbitrary decisions that are difficult to remedy, especially if you do not know your rights. Let’s take an example of a common problem that we at Tozen have to deal with quite often: illegal dismissal.

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2 mil. employees not ‘nenkin’ enrolled

9:25 pm, January 14, 2016
Jiji Press

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will launch a probe to identify companies neglecting their obligation to have employees join the appropriate public pension scheme, officials have said.

A ministry survey has found that an estimated 2 million people have not joined the “kosei nenkin” scheme for corporate employees even though they are legally required to do so. These people stay in the “kokumin nenkin” program for other people, including the self-employed, instead.

In Japan, incorporated businesses and sole proprietors who employ five or more people are obliged to have their workers join the corporate pension program.

Under the kosei nenkin scheme, employers cover half of the employees’ pension premiums. The workers participating in the program will be entitled to extra benefits that add to the basic pension provided under the kokumin nenkin program.

Original Article

Japan’s culture and courts need to get with the program on overtime

TV series have for decades now overused a broad range of formulaic plot devices. Let me give you an example:
The heroine scrambles to get out of the house in the morning on her way to work. She runs down the street only to collide with a man walking the other way. Blushing, she showers him with apologies and in all the kerfuffle, a piece of jewelry slips off to the ground unnoticed. Days later she runs into him (figuratively this time) in a chic cafe, and romance brews. For variety, replace jewelry with wallet, train pass or other item; stir and bake.

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Tozen Union Blast Past 200 Members with 20 Local Chapters

Saturday afternoon Tozen Union drove through an important milestone, 200 members with the approval of seven new members. This is about twice the number of members at the time of founding on April 25, 2010.  The Tozen executive also authorized the formation of two new local unions, bringing the number of local chapters to a nice round 20.

Tozen are pushing forward on several fronts, with major disputes at Gaba, Shane and JCFL. The labour union currently have five cases in the dock at Tokyo Labor Commission, including two against JCFL and one against Shibaura Institute of Technology, which may be settled soon.  

Other fights are brewing. 

「ちゃんと休ませてくれ!」―労働法における「休憩」って?

労働法と一言でいっても、そのなかには、さまざまな個別のテーマがある。たとえば、賃金、労働時間、配転、人事評価、解雇、営業譲渡、労働災害などなど。そのなかでも、あまり重きを置かれていないものに「休憩」がある。労働法の体系書を見ても、「休憩」に割くページ数は、他のテーマに比べるとかなり少ない。そもそも「労働」法とは、まさに「働くこと」がメインの法律なのだから、その対極にある「休むこと」については、あまり重視されていないのだろうか? 

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