Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 14 - 20  > Criminal complaints filed against universities over labor law violation
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2018 February 14 - 20 [LABOR]

Criminal complaints filed against universities over labor law violation

February 15&17, 2018
Tohoku University and Nihon University (Nichidai) have been accused of violating the Labor Standards Act in regard to their procedures for introducing a rule to dismiss contingent workers, including teaching staff, after their contract terms of up to five years expire.

In 2013, the Labor Contract Act was revised to enable non-regular workers who have been employed for five consecutive years to obtain an open-ended employment contract. Following the revision, as a tactic for evading legal responsibility regarding an open-ended contract offer, many universities changed their employment rules and placed a five-year limit on the contract terms for non-regular employees and teachers.

Among them are the two universities facing the accusation.

State-run Tohoku University in 2014 added to its staff rules a new clause which states that the maximum term of contract for contingent employees is five years. A similar change was made in 2017 in employee work rules of Japan’s largest private university Nichidai.

Regarding the two universities’ rule change, two part-time lecturers at Tohoku University on February 16 filed with the Sendai Labor Standards Inspection Office a criminal complaint against the university over a violation of the Labor Standards Act. Two days earlier, the union organizing university part-time lecturers in the Tokyo Metropolitan area brought a similar charge against Nichidai to the labor law enforcement office in Tokyo.

The law requires that in advance of making disadvantageous changes in employees’ working conditions such as the term of labor contract, employers carry out a procedure to elect an employee representative representing a majority of workers in the workplace and hear his/her opinion.

According to the document submitted to the Sendai labor inspection office, Tohoku University at the time of the 2014 work rule change excluded part-time teaching staff from an election for a workers’ rep. The complaint against Nichidai pointed out that the university’s method of choosing an employee representative lacks legitimacy.

Past related articles:
> Part-time lecturers form union to fight back against university’s massive job-cut plan [January 10, 2018]
> Network set up to block dismissal of contingent workers at Tohoku University [November 30, 2017]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved