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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 November 13 - 19  > Gov't draft guidelines to end power harassment will have opposite effect
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2019 November 13 - 19 TOP3 [LABOR]

Gov't draft guidelines to end power harassment will have opposite effect

November 19, 2019

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

With an anti-workplace power harassment law taking effect in June next year, guidelines concerning what measures companies should take have been under discussion. The draft guidelines were submitted on October 21 to the Labor Ministry's Labor Policy Council.

However, this draft is eliciting severe criticism because it narrows the definition of power harassment and unfairly limits the scope of punishable acts, which in effect will condone justifications such as, "This act is not listed in the guidelines as power harassment".

That would be the same as ignoring affected workers and giving a hand to power harassment, and not preventing acts of power harassment in workplaces. Moreover, according to the draft, only full-time regular workers are eligible to register complaints. Therefore, what the draft covers is far from enough in regard to the protection of the basic human rights of non-regular workers including freelancers. Also, the draft does not mention anything about measures to protect the privacy of sexual minorities.

The anti-workplace harassment law which was enacted in May this year has an additional resolution adopted in the labor committees of both Houses. The resolution demands that the government make the new law enforceable and effective. It also demands that in determining if the alleged case is an act of power harassment, full consideration be given to workers' testimony. These two points are, however, barely reflected in the draft. The draft is not based upon the existing harassment regulations achieved by citizens' movements or set by legal precedents. It will ignore these achievements. It is nothing but a draft to meet the demand of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) which proclaims, "Don't unnecessarily increase the number of examples of power harassment in the guidelines."

The draft guidelines which are full of flaws should be retracted and rewritten.

Past related articles:
> ILO’s anti-workplace harassment convention tool to protect human dignity: Zenroren vice chair [July 4, 2019]
> Abe turns his back on measures to eliminate workplace harassment [January 30, 2019]
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