政労使合意 雇用対策の有効性を見極めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 26, 2009)
Job-protection measures must be carefully gauged
政労使合意 雇用対策の有効性を見極めよ(3月26日付・読売社説)

In view of the serious economic situation, the government, workers and employers have agreed to cooperate to tackle employment instability.

The three parties agreed that they would make the utmost efforts for that purpose, including striving to preserve jobs. We hope that workers and employers of each company will be kept fully informed about the general intent of the agreement.

The government will shoulder most of the concrete measures to realize the agreement, which includes steps to support regular and nonregular workers, such as the expansion of subsidies and job training.

The content of the support measures resembles that of the additional emergency measures for employment that the ruling parties recently compiled. It seems that ideas for immediate measures are limited.

One of the main measures agreed among the three parties is to promote work-sharing to maintain jobs.  主な対策の一つに、雇用を維持するために仕事を分け合うワークシェアリングの推進がある。

Work-sharing represents an effort not to dismiss workers even if companies are forced to reduce production, and instead to maintain employment through employee furloughs and other steps. The rate for government subsidies for employment adjustment will be raised.

In addition, if a company maintains employment for nonregular workers, such as through overtime reduction, the government will provide a certain amount of money to the company to help it support affected nonregular workers for up to six months.


Securing reemployment key

Under the current economic downturn, many companies have cut production, and existing government subsidies for employment adjustment are, in most cases, used to maintain employment for regular workers. The agreed measure widens the scope of government subsidies for employment adjustment to include employment of nonregular workers.

The support measures also include a system to provide about 100,000 yen a month to those who are ineligible for employment insurance or those who have received all due welfare benefits during their job-training period. The measures will allow them to concentrate on job training by ensuring their livelihood for up to two years.

If the government does not prepare effective programs that lead to workers' reemployment, the job-training and livelihood security measures will have been for nothing. It also is important to foster sufficient human resources for nursing care services, environment-related jobs and other types of employment that are expected to expand in the future.

The government compiled one employment measure after another in the fiscal 2008 supplementary budget and the fiscal 2009 budget. A bill to revise the Employment Insurance Law to ease requirements for nonregular workers to sign up for employment insurance is expected to pass into law soon.

Concerning the additional measures, the government intends to include about 1.6 trillion yen for them in a fiscal 2009 supplementary budget. But some may get the impression that the government is putting priority on preparing the budget for the measures without hammering out each policy in detail.


Fixing economy top priority

In the past, sloppy employment administration, such as lavish spending of government subsidies, occurred without being questioned seriously. Therefore, the effects of the series of employment measures should be carefully assessed.

The three parties also agreed that the subsidies for employment adjustment and measures for the jobless are not a fundamental solution, and that the key employment measure is boosting the economy.

As mentioned in the agreement, utilizing every possible step for an economic recovery is the most important thing.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 26, 2009)
(2009年3月26日01時36分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-03-26 20:39 | 英字新聞

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