Eikaiwa NOVA faces scrutiny as its instructors have filed a human rights relief petition with the Osaka Bar Association Human Rights Advocacy Committee.
Instructors at NOVA face a stringent policy in their employment regulations that mandates a medical certificate be submitted for even a single day of illness. Despite concerns about their health, instructors are compelled to visit a hospital to obtain one, regardless of its potential further detrimental impact on their health.
Employee A reports having a fever of 38.7 degrees at work and requests to leave. The supervisor demands a medical certificate. Worried about a possible COVID-19 infection, A incurs expenses of ¥3,500 for the certificate, ¥2,000 for consultation fees and medication, and an additional ¥8,000 for a COVID-19 test, on top of losing a day’s pay in the process.
Employee B experiences diarrhea on a Saturday. The instructor’s manager instructs them to undergo a medical examination and obtain documentation. However, the employee’s regular doctor’s clinic is already closed, and it remains shut until the following Monday. By that time, the diarrhea has naturally resolved. Even if they had sought medical attention, the doctor likely wouldn’t have provided any treatment. As a result, the employee loses their attendance allowance for that month.
It’s important to note that this regulation applies only to foreign instructors, not to Japanese employees at NOVA.
NOVA states that the reason for this requirement is necessary for “judging the legitimacy of attendance bonus payments,” “judging contract renewals, cautions, and disciplinary actions appropriately,” and “confirming whether the absence is due to a legitimate reason.” In essence, they argue that a medical certificate is needed to prevent instructors from lying about being sick and taking leave without reason. This is unacceptable!
As NOVA continues to engage in severe human rights violations, let us address each of them collectively with the united power of workers! We call on workers nationwide to support the instructors at NOVA fighting against these injustices.