Labor ministry to give companies freedom to fire workers

The labor minister has made public the outline of a draft bill to revise the Labor Standards Law giving employers freedom to dismiss workers without consent.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Sakaguchi Chikara submitted the outline to the government labor policy council on February 13.

Under the plan, dismissals "in principle" would be unrestricted except for cases in which employers have failed to present "objective and logical reasons" for dismissals. This is considered as abuse of corporate power and therefore "inappropriate in light of common sense."

Akahata of February 14 pointed out that this idea denies the Supreme Court view position in favor of the principle of justice: "No dismissals are allowed without justifiable reasons."

The Sakaguchi plan calls for employers to extend the maximum period of employing contract workers to three years from the present one year.

It also calls for an expansion of the application of the discretionary work schedule system. This may be used to justify forced overtime work.

Akahata on February 14 warned that these proposals will only help increase the number of contingency workers and unpaid overtime.

The ministry plans to introduce the draft bill to the Diet in March. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.