KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
“Substantial Reinforcement Hereafter of Employment Measures for the Handicapped”: Opinions of the Working Party on Employment of the Handicapped
19 December 2007
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
- Today on December 19, 2007, the Working Party on Employment of the Handicapped established in the Government’s Labor Policy Deliberation Council (Chair of the Working Party: Mr. Koichiro IMANO, Professor of Gakushuin University) brought its discussion to a conclusion in a form of the Opinions on “Substantial Reinforcement Hereafter of the Employment Measures for the Handicapped – Toward Expansion of Employment Opportunities for Handicapped Persons”. It is indeed true that the number of the enterprises which positively tackle employment of the handicapped has recently increased and real rate of employment of the handicapped is in a upward trend, but still the legally designated rate is not yet attained in the whole enterprise. JTUC-RENGO, with a view to expanding employment of handicapped persons, had participated in the deliberation in the Council, exchanging views with the organizations of the handicapped. The contents of the Opinions can be positively evaluated as one step further to promote employment of handicapped persons.
- As the measures to expand employment opportunities for the handicapped, the Opinions suggests the following concerning the handicapped persons’ employment ratio system for the enterprises, payment system for the enterprises that do not meet the ratio and so forth: 1) short time work (longer than 20 hours and shorter than 30 hours per week) should be intended for employment obligation and one person should be counted as 0.5 person; 2) small and medium-sized enterprises which employ more than 101 workers (previously, more than 201 workers) will be intended for application of the payment system for the enterprises not meeting the designated ratio of employment of the handicapped; 3) an arrangement should be initiated to apply the handicapped persons’ employment ratio system for enterprises when more than one small and medium-sized enterprise make use of a business cooperative and the like; 4) exclusion rate should be reduced; and 5) an examination toward a ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities should be made.
- In the future, it is scheduled that a bill to revise the Law for Employment Promotion, etc. of the Disabled will be submitted to the next Ordinary Session of the Diet. In revising the Law, it is demanded that: 1) steps should be taken for the places of employment of handicapped persons not to lean toward those of short time work; 2) “the sufficient period” for the measure to reduce payment of small and medium-sized enterprises that do not meet the designated ratio of employment of the handicapped should be kept for three years; 3) the initiative to set up an arrangement to make use of business cooperative and the like should be carefully coped with from such points as employers’ responsibilities; and 4) as to support centers for employment and life of the handicapped, not only should they be established in all health and welfare areas of the handicapped, but also steps should be taken to secure the working conditions of those who work there and to secure security of their employment. Moreover, it should be noted that the measures for supporting employment of those who suffer from mental disorders and the supporting measures for those who become handicapped halfway should be continuously examined.
- Along the line of ideal of normalization, JTUC-RENGO is aiming at building up a society where handicapped persons can work and live in the community according to their will and ability to work despite type and severity of their handicaps. For that purpose, JTUC-RENGO demands that the Law for Employment Promotion, etc. of the Disabled should be so revised as to expand employment of them. At the same time, JTUC-RENGO will actively participate in the promotion of employment of handicapped persons as trade union movements through such activities as holding symposiums on employment of the handicapped and through inspecting real rate of employment of the handicapped at workplaces.