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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 September 30 - October 6  > 80% of employers using foreign trainees violate labor laws
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2015 September 30 - October 6 [LABOR]

80% of employers using foreign trainees violate labor laws

October 2, 2015
Nearly 80% of business entities that utilize the foreign trainee and technical internship program engaged in illegal labor practices against foreign trainees, the labor law enforcement authorities on September 30 revealed.

In 2014, among companies participating in the foreign trainee program, 3,918 companies were investigated in regard to the use of foreign trainees. Of them, 2,977 were identified as committing clear violations of the Labor Standards Act. The most common illegal act was the violation of working time rules, followed by breaches of rules on occupational safety and penalty rates. For example, some employers paid foreign trainees only 310 yen per hour while Japan’s average minimum wages stood at 770 yen.

The number of cases which the enforcement authorities sent to the public prosecutors offices as serious and malicious illegal acts reached 26, the largest in five years.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations and other human rights organizations are criticizing the foreign trainee program as enabling employers to use foreign trainees as cheap, exploitable labor and calling for the abolition of the program. The Japanese government, however, submitted to the latest Diet session a bill to make it easier for more companies to use the program. The bill was carried over to the next Diet session.

Past related articles:
> JCP Koike: End illegal labor practices against foreign trainees [May 14, 2015]
> Labor ministry panel opens door for use of foreign trainees as cheap labor in nursing-care industry [January 28, 2015]
> Abe’s attempt to increase use of foreign trainees will lead to further deterioration of their human rights [May 25, 2014]
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