This is a reprint of a recent article from the Japan Press Weekly. It is important that members contact the union if they hear of instances where employers are trying to implement a 5 year maximum rule to avoid the possibility of workers becoming permanent employees.
June 22, 2013
A group of 15 part-time lecturers at Waseda University on June 21 filed a criminal complaint with Tokyo’s Shinjuku Labor Standards Inspection Office, claiming that the university’s unilateral revision of working rules violates the Labor Standards Law.
Waseda amended the rules to set a five-year term limit on contracts with part-time lecturers after the Labor Contract Act was revised to enable non-regular workers on fixed-term contract who have more than five years of continuous employment to move to employment on an open-ended contract.
A procedure for modifying rules on employment set under Article 90 of the Labor Standards Law requires employers to conduct an election to choose a person representing a majority of workers and hear his/her opinion.
The 15 lecturers said that the university management held a vote on a day when none of Waseda’s 4,000 part-time lecturers came to work because the university’s entrance examination was held on that day, and that this violates the law.
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko on June 18 took up the issue in the Diet.