26/03/2019

Future Issues of Indefinite Employment Reclassification Rule - Learning from the Precedent in South Korea -

Social Improvement and Life Design Research Department Research fellow Kim Myoungjung 

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■Summary
 
  • In both Japan as well as South Korea, the increase in non-regular workers can be observed as a long-term trend.
     
  • In 2007, as the increase in non-regular workers accelerated, the South Korean government implemented the “Act on the Protection of Non-Regular Workers.”
     
  • Ten years have already elapsed since South Korea introduced its Act on the Protection of Non-Regular Workers. Since this new system has been implemented, socio-economic changes and the impact of the system have somewhat reduced the ratio of non-regular workers in the workplace, but non-regular workers still account for over 30% of all jobs. Further, the malignant practice of hiring cutoff remains as it is.
     
  • Even those who have been reclassified as indefinite-term contractual workers due to the implementation of the Act on the Protection of Non-Regular Workers have seen no improvement in their working conditions, and many are faced with an increasingly wide gap in wages and benefits when compared with regular employees.
     
  • Japanese Government applied its own “indefinite employment reclassification rule” from April 2018.
     
  • Even though Section 20 of Japan’s Labor Contracts Act prohibits discrimination against fixed-term contract workers as compared with indefinite-term contract workers, it does not address discrimination against indefinite-term contract workers as compared against regular employees.
     
  • Even if hiring cutoff is not as severe as it was in South Korea, it is feared that neglecting to take measures to improve working conditions for indefinite-term contract workers will create new disparities between indefinite-term contract workers and regular employees.
     
  • We continue to monitor what measures the Japanese and South Korean governments will take to improve working conditions for non-regular workers and indefinite-term contract workers.


■Index

1――Introduction
2――Definition of non-regular employee in Japan and South Korea
  (1) Definition of non-regular employee in Japan
  (2) Definition of non-regular employee in South Korea
3――Background of Act on Protection of Non-regular
 employee’s enforcement and changes after that
  (1) South Korean government enforced Act on Protection of Non-regular
    employee
  (2) Changes after enforcement of Act on Protection of Non-regular employee
  (3) Primary Results of Labor Mobility Panel Surveys by Mode of Employment
    (1 – 8)
4――The Start of an “Indefinite Employment Reclassification Rule” in Japan
5――Conclusions

Social Improvement and Life Design Research Department   Research fellow

Kim Myoungjung

Research field

03-3512-1878

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