KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary

Koga says!
Statement on the approval of the revision bill of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law

15 June 2006
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
  1. The Equal Employment Opportunity Law was revised for the first time in 10 years. The revision bill was passed on 15 June in the Plenary of the House of Representatives after deliberation in both Houses. In addition, a supplementary resolution was adopted calling for a measure to publicly announce that there exists indirect discrimination that is not defined in the ministerial ordinance, but could be judicially judged illegal.

    Amendments jointly proposed by four opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), were voted down in the Committee.

  2. RENGO had been organising a campaign, such as gathering in lobbies of the Houses and the visit to the Committees, to realize amendments to the original bill that would 1) include work-life balance in the text, 2) prohibit indirect discrimination by listing examples and 3) make positive actions mandatory. However, it was so regrettable that sufficient deliberation time was not given and the amendments were not realized.

    It was, however, appreciated that the supplementary resolution was provided that provides: 1) a measure should be take to publicly inform that there exists indirect discrimination that is not included in the ministerial ordinance, but could be judicially judged illegal; 2) the ministerial ordinance should be reviewed and added practically even within the provided reconsideration period of 5 years; 3) a measure should be taken to respond to grievance concerning indirect discrimination that is not ruled by the ministerial ordinance. The resolution could be a great step toward improvements in workplaces and future revision of the law and the ordinance.

  3. RENGO will continue working on the drafting of the ordinance and guidelines through deliberation of the subcommittee on equal employment opportunity of the Labour Policy Committee due to take place coming autumn.

    Furthermore, we will take concrete actions to disclose and solve indirect discrimination in workplaces and ensure the enforceability of the revised Law particularly in the areas of sexual harassment a measure on which is mandatory and unfavourable treatment related to pregnancy and childbirth.