Improving Japan’s Labor Policy Towards Greater Productivity and Job Satisfaction. The 7th Japan Labor Policy Committee Report.

The committee has been holding discussions since February 2020 with the major theme of “Improving labor policy in accelerating economic and social changes – towards diverse ways of working with productivity and job satisfaction”. While wide-ranging, such Japan Labour Committee considerations of future labor policies play a vital role in shaping the MHLW’’s formation of labor laws and the surrounding work environment. Improving Japan’s Labor Policy Towards Greater Productivity and Job Satisfaction.

For details, please check the links below, all in Japanese, provided by the Japanese MHLW.

Committee Proceedings

Sub-Committee Report

Supporting Reference Material

Verse Corporation publishes articles on timely issues in Japanese Social Welfare and Labour Law. Japanese payroll, source deductions, and myriad labor law work & pay rules regarding compensation, social insurance, absenteeism & sick leave, etc. require strict adherence. Labor/employment law can be complex, even for Japanese companies, and must be handled mostly in Japanese. As with all social welfare and labor law matters in Japan, please seek out professional Sharoushi (Certified Labour Law and Social Insurance Attorney.)

1. The current state of society and economy

Changes in industrial structure

How to look forward to the future social and industrial structure in the medium to long term, and how to develop active human resources is an extremely important issue in labor policy. 

  • It is necessary to increase the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises, and it is also important to secure a place to work outside the metropolitan area.

Labor participation of diverse human resources and the growth of companies

It is important to realize a participatory diverse society. As the word “inconsistency bias” says, it is also important as a task for society as a whole, how to dispel gender role-sharing awareness and negative assumptions, and evaluate and utilize diverse human resources.

  • It is important to be neutral in the way of working in terms of the social security system, tax system, etc.

Changes in the labor market

  • It is necessary to build a sustainable labor market that can flexibly respond to changes in industrial structure and is resilient while utilizing not only the internal labor market but also the functions of the external labor market.
  • To secure human resources in the labor market, it is important to improve working conditions such as wages, and to establish human resources, it is important to conduct appropriate evaluations and treatment and increase the engagement of workers.
  • Companies need to have a system to accept human resources such as job changers.

Changes in the awareness of workers and the image of human resources sought by companies

  • As a management strategy, companies need to explain to workers the specific aspects such as the need to respond to socio-economic changes, how they want to change as a company, what abilities and skills are needed for that, and what should be learned.
  • Individual workers need to be aware of re-skilling so that they can make changes positively and acquire new skills.
  • For workers who cannot respond flexibly to changes, companies carefully explain the need to respond to changes, create practical learning opportunities while creating a mindset, etc., and clarify the evaluation by supporting re-skilling and acquiring skills. It is important to increase these human resources by working on transformation, etc.
  • Some workers focus on how to build their careers instead of growing up in one company, and career autonomy is becoming important.

2. The current state of working style

About employment management to improve productivity

Human resource development

  • It was the strength of Japanese companies to acquire company-specific skills with OJT, but to respond flexibly to the rapidly changing industrial structure, you can also invest in cross-company skills and new skills such as digital technology. It is also important to bring new added value to the company and grow.
  • Since professional life will also be long-term, it is also important to develop abilities including middle-aged and elderly re-skilling.
  • Regardless of the employment category, it is necessary to provide fair and fair human resource development opportunities for all employees and workers.

Response to digital technology・Re-skilling

  • Support from the country and local governments is also important, such as providing a place for management, awareness, setting up a consultation desk, and support for workers, etc.

About employment management

Human resources system

  • Even in large companies, the proportion of job changers is increasing, and human resources are required due to IT and DX, so how to do the wage system to welcome mid-career recruits is also a problem.
  • As the use of digital technology has become required, the experience of bosses and seniors in companies so far and tasks that exceed the scope of ability and skills have increased.
  • Re-skilling by Off-JT training for existing employees is also necessary, and it is especially important to understand the knowledge of digital technology and the work of managers. It is a basic premise to be properly evaluated and treated as a consideration for labor, but to promote employee morale, it is important to properly evaluate and treat motivation such as improving abilities by acquiring new skills and challenging new things. More important than that

Job-type human resources

  • As for a new human resources system called job-type human resources, it is important for introduction and what companies want from working people.
  • In industries such as small and medium-sized enterprises and service industries, one employee is often responsible for various tasks, and job-type human resources may not be familiar depending on the size of the company and industry.
  • Even if it is a company that has introduced a job-type human resources system in Japan, 1 We will conduct training for a certain period after hiring new graduates, 2 Human resources will be carried out under the company’s lead, etc., variations between so-called “membership type human resources” and “job-type human resources” There were a lot of things.

Labor movement

  • To promote labor movement, workers can choose their jobs at their own will, such as the development of the external labor market, the development of the foundation for cross-company capacity evaluation, and the development of safety nets such as capacity development systems, and various ways of working according to individual wishes It is important to create an environment where you can choose
  • Efforts are needed to enable the design of a neutral human resources system for labor mobility.
  • It is also important that people in weak position can move around at work smoothly, and we should also think about a mechanism that makes labor and management both labor convinced and make it possible to move.

Relating between labor and management

  • While various ways of working coexist in the workplace in IT, it is important to respond to operational issues while grasping the actual situation of the workplace, and the role and function of labor unions that know the site will continue to be important in the future.
  • As a medium- to long-term social dialogue and consensus building, it is important to deepen social dialogue such as labor and management in the region.

3. About future labor policy issues

Responses required by companies

  • We must proactively work on capacity development, including re-skilling, at all levels of managers, managers, and field workers.
  • Since the management work of on-site managers will increase more than before, it is important to implement management training for managers and reduce the workload of managers.
  • For all workers, including non-regular workers, it is necessary to secure opportunities to improve working conditions and improve their ability to build their careers.

Responses required of workers

  • We need to proactively work on re-skilling at all levels of managers, managers, and field workers.

Issues to be considered in the future in labor policy

  • We make tools that allow workers to objectively visualize their skills so that they can take inventory of their careers at every milestone and take support measures such as advice and consultation by career consultants. should be
  • To serve as a reference for workers’ job change, we should actively collect examples and introduce examples of jobs that have an affinity for work even among different industries obtained through enrollment type secondment support, and promote the development of an environment that makes it easy to change jobs.
  • It is necessary to respond to the situation of various workers and continue to carry out work style reform, including telework, flextime, interworking intervals, etc.

Responses required by society as a whole

  • While accelerating economic and social changes, in addition to human resource development by companies, it is necessary to think about measures that each worker can think about their careers autonomously with a sense of crisis throughout society.

It can be seen how the Japan Labour Committee’s considerations of future labor policies play a vital role in shaping the MHLW’s formation of labor laws and the surrounding work environment. Improving Japan’s Labor Policy Towards Greater Productivity and Job Satisfaction.