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GU Home > GU News > ALTs News - 4 Apr 2010

Aichi Labour Bureau: Tokai City breaks dispatch law

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare have sent out a notification to all the local Boards of Education (BOEs) judging the contracting-out of Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) work to be illegal. The ministries have been conducting a survey of all the boards of education in Japan, asking them whether they will be reviewing their contracts.

At the same time the General Union has been working all over Japan exposing illicit practices. These include such things as illegal long-term dispatches with a three month “cooling off” period. This is a gap between the dispatch contracts, as the law only allows dispatch at one workplace for a maximum of one year.

Another common practice is the use of false contracts which violate the School Education Law.

A considerable number of boards of education are switching to direct employment of the current ALTs. In a desperate attempt to survive in the ALT business, some dispatch companies are trying to convince the boards that there are ways to evade the laws. Some boards with poor knowledge of labour laws are still becoming involved in the use of false service contracts.

Authorities visited the school to investigate such matters as the direction of classes and the handling of contracts. They discovered that even though the contract between the board and the contractor is held to be a “service contract”, it is in reality a false contract. They concluded that directions for the classes are provided by the school and the control and responsibility for the classes lies with the board. This means that the alleged service contract is in fact illegal dispatch.

The ruling also stated that the board must now secure stable employment for the workers concerned, and from here on strive to observe the labour laws. Since the maximum dispatch period of one year has long since expired, the Tokai City Board of Education must now directly employ the union members concerned.

This is a typical case of false contracting and illegal dispatch. This is a common practice not only in Aichi prefecture, but all over the country. We hope that this ruling will have an effect throughout the nation. The General Union is determined to keep on raising our voice to clear the schools of violations of the dispatch law, the Employment Security Act and the School Education Law, and to win decent employment.



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