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Japanese Diet Discusses Bill to Amend Worker Dispatch Law

The Diet is debating a bill to amend the Worker Dispatch Law, which is currently a hot issue in Japan. The proposed legislation is deemed far from perfect, but at least the Diet is expected to explore ways of contributing to the correction of income disparities between regular and non-regular workers, which are said to be leading to an increase of poverty.
The present law gives no consideration to the problem of the employment stability of dispatched workers. Their jobs, which are found by temporary staffing agencies, can be terminated at short notice and sometimes at a moment's notice-a phenomenon known as haken-giri in Japanese. As a result of this practice, some people who had been given accommodation along with their work, have found themselves suddenly thrown onto the streets and made homeless.
Therefore, the Diet has become more serious about this issue and is searching for ways to improve job security for dispatched workers. The bill aims to protect dispatched workers and overhaul the dispatch system itself. The least protected among these workers are those who are registered with temporary staffing agencies and obtain employment contracts as and when jobs are available. Under the amended law, such practice would be banned except in 26 fields requiring special skills, such as interpreting. The dispatch of workers to manufacturing companies, where massive dismissals have become commonplace today, will be allowed only in case where the temporary staffing agencies are expected to hire the workers for more than one year.

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