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Politics

Japan to implement fair pay rule for temporary workers

Guidelines will require companies to raise pay by 30% within three years

Japan's labor ministry has finalized equal-pay rules for temporary workers that will take effect in April 2020.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government has decided to push for fairer pay for temporary workers as it looks to implement "equal pay for equal work" regulations, starting next April.

The work reform law, which was passed last year, bans unequal treatment of regular and nonregular employees. However, it does not state how wages for temporary staff or workers dispatched by agencies will be assessed.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has compiled the guidelines, which oblige companies to pay fair wages to temporary staff according to their skills. Under the assumption that skills improve over time, the ministry set wage standards according to how long the person is employed at the same workplace.

The guidelines call for pay for temps to rise by 16% after one year and 31.9% in the third year, compared with the worker's starting wage. Temporary workers are limited to a three-year term.

For system engineers, for example, the basic wage is 1,427 yen per hour, rising to 1,655 yen after one year, and to 1.882 yen by the third year. Actual wages are determined based on job type, duties and location.

The ministry has given notice of the new rules to labor bureaus across Japan, with the regulation taking effect in April 2020. Failure to comply with the equal pay standards carries no sanctions, but companies found in violation will be put under administrative guidance.

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