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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 4 - 10  > Government bill excludes most of part-timers from equal treatment
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2007 April 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Government bill excludes most of part-timers from equal treatment

April 4, 2007
The House of Representatives on April 3 began discussing a bill to revise the law on part-time workers’ working conditions.

Although the government-proposed bill calls for “balanced treatment” between part-time workers and full-time workers with respect to wages, job training, and fringe-benefits, it will apply the ban on discriminatory treatment to only a small fraction of part-time workers.

Even Labor Minister Yanagisawa Hakuo admitted that the bill, in effect, will force most part-time workers to put up with discriminatory treatment, saying that the ban will be applied to “4-5 percent” of them. As a result, there is a concern that the bill could perpetuate or even increase gaps between part-timers and full-timers.

Moreover, the bill only requires employers to “make efforts” or “take consideration” to promote “balanced treatment” and leaves concrete steps to be taken to employers. It fails to impose penalties on employers that disregard it.

Yanagisawa only said that local labor bureaus would instruct employers in the event of problems.

Pointing out that the bill is far from satisfying part-time workers’ needs and demands, the Japanese Communist Party is demanding an enactment of a law that provides equal pay for equal work, a ban on unfair discrimination, and equal treatment for part-time workers.
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