Institute of Comparative Law早稲田大学 比較法研究所

News

ニュース

日本法トピックス「最新立法」No.6 “Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities in Employment”(浅倉 むつ子(比較法研究所研究員、法務研究科教授))

Recent Legislations in Japan (Labor Law)

Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities in Employment

Professor Mutsuko ASAKURA
(Research Staff, Waseda Law School)
(on 1 October 2014)

  In June 2013, the Act on the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (“the Disabilities Discrimination Act”) was enacted to prohibit disability-based discrimination, and in January of the following year, Japan ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Close to the same time, the Act on Employment Promotion, etc. of Persons with Disabilities (“the Disabled Employment Promotion Act”) was revised. The former Disabilities Discrimination Act obligates a wide range of public bodies and private enterprises to eliminate discrimination based on disabilities, but it is stipulated that with regard to private enterprises as the position of employer, such action must comply with the provisions of the Disabled Employment Promotion Act (Article 13). This paper summarizes the revisions to the Disabled Employment Promotion Act.

The Disabled Employment Promotion Act has, to date, obligated public bodies and private sectors to comply with quotas for the employment of persons with disabilities so that they would hire specified numbers of disabled persons. Its revision added provisions prohibiting employers from discriminating against persons with disabilities. Now, an employer must provide equal opportunities to persons with disabilities when hiring employees (Article 34), and after hiring, must not unduly discriminate with regard to wages, education and training, welfare, and so on (Article 35). The specific kinds of actions that are prohibited as discriminatory are stipulated by guidelines (Article 36, paragraph 1).

The revised Act not only prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, it also obligates employers to provide reasonable accommodation. In brief, to provide disabled persons with equitable opportunities and treatment, and to improve conditions that would prevent them from displaying their capabilities, an employer must provide facilities that consider the characteristics of the disabilities, arrange assistants, and take other necessary measures both at the time of recruitment and hiring, and after hiring (Articles 36-2 and 36-3). Such measures are assumed to include [1] providing facilities and equipment, [2] personal support, and [3] workplace management. However, an exemption is made in cases where these measures place an “excessive burden on a business owner” (provisos to Articles 36-2 and 36-3). A judgment of “excessive burden” accounts for a company’s scale and field of business, the state of the company’s finances and economic support, etc. The types of measures to be taken are specified in guidelines (Article 36-5). On June 6, 2014, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare published the Report of the Research Committee on Appropriate Guidelines, which will be enacted in the future.

In order to achieve the compliance of employers with these new provisions prohibiting discrimination and obligating reasonable accommodation, the law authorizes the Ministry to provide advice, guidance, and recommendations to employers (Article 36-6). In addition, in response to a petition from parties in a dispute, the director general of a prefectural labor bureau may provide necessary advice, guidance, and recommendations (Article 74-6) or have a dispute resolution and reconciliation committee mediate the dispute (Article 74-7).

As Japan’s first law expressly prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities, its effectiveness is being closely watched by the public.

Page Top
WASEDA University

早稲田大学オフィシャルサイト(https://www.waseda.jp/folaw/icl/)は、以下のWebブラウザでご覧いただくことを推奨いたします。

推奨環境以外でのご利用や、推奨環境であっても設定によっては、ご利用できない場合や正しく表示されない場合がございます。より快適にご利用いただくため、お使いのブラウザを最新版に更新してご覧ください。

このままご覧いただく方は、「このまま進む」ボタンをクリックし、次ページに進んでください。

このまま進む

対応ブラウザについて

閉じる