JAPAN: Annual Update – Expected labour law changes in 2016

Temporary workers – time limits

Introduction of an easily understandable limit on the period for which temporary workers can be dispatched: With effect from September 30, 2015 the maximum period a temporary worker can be dispatched to the same workplace, in principle, is limited to 3 years, irrespective of the types of services to be performed by the temporary worker.
If a company that takes on a temporary worker (the “Accepting Company”) wishes to enjoy the services of that temporary worker (or a different temporary worker) at the same workplace beyond the 3 years’ limit, the company needs to obtain an opinion from the labour union on whether it may do so. In addition, the maximum period for which the same temporary worker can be dispatched in the same “organizational unit” of the Accepting Company is limited to 3 years.
Action required: Companies who accept temporary workers must understand and manage the period for which temporary workers are dispatched on a workplace basis and on an individual temporary worker basis.

Temporary workers – proportionate treatment

Proportionate treatment of temporary workers with the Accepting Company’s workers engaged in the same duties: With effect from September 30, 2015 an Accepting Company of temporary workers must: (a) provide the temporary staffing company with accurate salary information to enable it properly to determine the level of wages to be paid to the temporary workers; (b) provide the temporary workers with the same education and training as that provided to its own workers when closely connected to their actual duties; and (c) allow the temporary workers to use certain welfare facilities that the Accepting Company’s own workers use.
Action required: Companies who accept temporary workers should implement compliant policies and procedures to ensure the proportionate treatment of those temporary workers, as compared with their own workforce.

Personal identification numbers

Introduction of personal identification number and proper handling thereof: From January 1st, 2016, the Social Security and Tax Number System (the so-called “”My Number System”) will be introduced. Under this System, all Japanese citizens who live in Japan and foreign residents will be assigned a unique “personal number” that will be used primarily for social security and tax purposes.
Employers need to comply with the prescribed procedure in obtaining such personal numbers, and once the numbers have been provided, they will need to take the necessary security measures to prevent the leakage or loss of such numbers or otherwise to properly manage their handling.
Action required: Employers should prepare policies and procedures for handling the personal numbers.