Shakai Hoken (Health and Pension Insurance): following the changes to the Shakai Hoken laws in October 2016 which lowered the hours for eligibility to twenty hours (in companies with 500+1 eligible employees), the union wants to know if a further expansion is set when the law is reviewed in September 2019. Our hope is that the rules for enrollment will be expanded to include all employers – including small companies and schools.
The union hopes that the ministry will expand the law to re-include workers who used to be eligible for Shigaku Kyosai (Private Schools Health and Pension Insurance), even under twenty hours, but were barred from enrollment when the law changed to a set twenty hours (which ended up taking the flexibility for enrollment at any hours set by the employer).
The union also wants to explain the plight of non-regular workers who work many hours but for different employers.
Such people will never be eligible for enrollment because, even though they work above the threshold, they don’t work at any one employer for twenty plus hours.
ALT dispatch to boards of educations and post-secondary institutions: For many years, the union has been trying to get boards of education (BoE) and universities to stop using illegal “gyomu itaku” contracts to fill their dispatching needs.
There is a proper and legal form of dispatch called “haken”, and the good thing for people dispatched under this arrangement is that the BoE can also be asked for negotiations (if necessary).
In addition, the law states that people dispatched under “haken” should get the same pay as a directly-hired person doing the same job.
The unions are currently conducting surveys of BoEs in Kyushu, Kansai, Tokai, and Kanto, and will give this information over to the ministries so that they can target the BoEs involved in the use of illegal dispatch.
We are also asking that the ministries do their own surveys of the problem and give proper guidance to BoEs and universities so this kind of dispatch doesn’t lead to a reduction in working conditions.
Unlimited Term Contracts: We know that a number of schools, universities (see more below), and companies are trying to evade this law, and we are asking that the ministry give us details on the number of employers they have found trying to evade and what exactly the ministry is doing in terms of guidance and enforcement.
So-called “Tokurei-ho” and the 10 year problem: In the university sector, employers are able to do the conversion for unlimited-term contracts at ten years as opposed to five… BUT this is only for employees involved in special research – NOT all employees, and definitely not non-regular university teachers who are simply teaching courses.
We will be asking the ministry to give us specific examples of who the ten year standard applies to and how it is applied, and if the application of the ten year standard is up to each university or not.
Our experience thus far is that some universities are applying it to some teachers, and some are trying to apply it to all teachers.
The unions will make a full report after negotiations.
Watch out for more news.