Saturday, May 10, 2008

Japan: Government Falling Short in Ensuring that Employers Hire Older Workers

Kazuo Otsu, writing for the Daily Yomiyuri, examined whether the Japanese government is making good on its goal of a society in which people can continue to work regardless of their age. Japan's steps in this plan have included enforcing the revised Older Persons' Employment Stabilization Law in April 2006, under which companies are obliged to ensure there are job opportunities for workers up to the age of 65, effective April 2013, and implementing the revised Employment Measures Law to prohibit companies in principle from setting age limits for the recruiting of new employees.

According to Tomonari Higuchi, a business consultant in Yamagata Prefecture, "he often hears personnel managers referring to the difficulty of hiring aged workers."
"There's a remarkable number of people who feel they are treated like redundant baggage," said Higuchi, 51. "While there has been progress on a legislative level, in general the genuine intent of companies to hire elderly workers remains low."
Otsu notes, for example, that one job-seeker in his t0's was told "We only have young employees working here" when telephoning a company offering jobs stating no age limit.
Some employers openly admitted that not indicating an age limit was just a matter of expediency. Though the government can issue warnings to companies found to be flagrant transgressors of the law banning most age restrictions, the law itself has no penalty clauses.
Source: Daily Yomiyuri "Work for elderly remains elusive goal" (May 8, 2008)

No comments: