Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: 2020.3.3

Government response:

For companies dealing exclusively with China, the government has already set up an employment adjust fund and will be setting one up for other industries which will have sales affected by the virus. We do not know at this time what industries it will cover.

Parents affected by childcare issues stemming from the closure of schools MAY also get some relief, but the mechanics are still unclear.

Companies who pay parents 100% of their wages to take time off to care for their children will be reimbursed to a maximum of 8,330 yen per day.

BUT...the parents do not have a right to the time off and employers do not have a duty to give the time off.

According to the Osaka Labour Bureau, this has not yet been worked out past the announcement of the subsidy.

Please click this link for a full notice in Japanese from the Ministry of Education or an English summary.

Company reactions:

GABA: they have from two weeks starting 2 March and will pay 100% of the average wage from the three preceding pay periods. We tip our hats to them for this.

Two more large language schools:
1. Has laid off all full time native English Teachers for two weeks and is refusing to pay the 60% of the coverage.
2. Japanese part time teachers have contacted the union as they were told their classes are cancelled AND they will not receive the 60%.

We believe that under the Labour Standards Law (and the Osaka Labour Bureau agrees with us) this coverage must be paid. We have written to the companies for comment and will soon release their names. No company should be putting this burden on the backs of workers. It's sickening and they should be shamed publicly and prosecuted.

Private Language Schools: people are reporting on the union's Facebook page that their schools are laying off part timers. These appear to be smaller schools or dispatch to company classes.

Universities & Private Schools: we have had no reports of any layoffs. We imagine that this is because many private school part timers are so close to spring break. Universities are already off.

Dispatch to Boards of Educations: it appears all are attending work as usual. The ministry notice referred to above does state that where teachers are not necessary at their schools they should be allowed to work from home, but this is not enforceable (at the time of this writing, so if you're told to attend work, and you don't, you will not be paid.

Union's response:

As noted above, we are writing to companies where workers report layoffs without a minimum of 60% of wages, and to board of education dispatch companies that have layoffs and aren't offering 100% of wages (in most cases boards will have already paid for the dispatching work).

If you are on lay off an your company refuses to pay 60% of your wages, please let us know. We have a high volume of emails at this time (along with lots of regular negotiations) so we ask for your patience.


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