“Freedom” Not only that, February 19th, 17:29

"You can work at your own convenience."

"The shift system enhances your private


This is a word often seen in recruiting jobs.

The "shift system" is a "free" way of working where you can choose the day of the week and the time of day.

However, it has been pointed out that it may be a "loophole in the law" now that the corona is bad.

(Social Department reporter Yuka Onishi)

Supporting "non-regular workers of large companies"

On February 5th, big news came in.

The country has stepped up its support for those who work in non-regular employment.

The “Leave Support Fund” is a system in which the government directly pays 80% of wages to those who cannot receive the leave allowance from their employer, and was established in April last year.

Until now, only people working in small and medium-sized enterprises could apply.

"Why can't the country help me just because I work for a large company?"

Even in large companies, there were a number of cases where the leave allowance was not paid to non-regular employees who work on a shift system, and the country expanded the scope.

After the announcement, I talked to the people I have interviewed so far.

While the voices were "really good" and "relieved," I was also told that I was not completely happy.

Even if I work for more than 10 years ...

"I still feel unreasonable," said a

man in his 40s over the phone.

The man has been working part-time at a "big business" hotel for over 10 years.

In principle, shifts are decided weekly.

I work 5 days a week, 10 hours or more a day.

We have been responsible for serving banquets and weddings.

However, due to the spread of infection, the shift has been reduced to zero since March last year.

I lost about 250,000 yen a month.

The hotel explained that "the employment contract remains."

I repeated, "Please come back to work."

Full-time employees and some contract employees had a leave allowance.

On the other hand, many part-time jobs, including men, are not paid.

A man in his 40s

"I've been working with a sense of satisfaction for more than 10 years, and I think it's a free way of working. But I've been working for the same amount of time as a regular employee or more. I realized that part-time jobs would be treated differently at such times. "

I was the target of support

As the infection continues to spread, it is difficult to find a stable job.

Last fall, I finally found a job as a cleaner, three days a week, and earns only 40,000 yen a month.

In early February, when savings were running out and cornered, men learned that the coverage of leave support would be expanded.

It is said that he immediately checked the website of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for unfortunate news.

However, the amount of leave support for shift workers working in large companies was limited.

The target period is from April to June last year, which was affected by the state of emergency, and after January 8th.

<Note: If the local government has requested a shorter working hours or a leave of absence before this, from the start of the request>

It was 60% of wages for the last three months and 80% after January 8th.

If a man's application goes smoothly, he will receive about 800,000 yen until February.

I've heard that the hotel where I work pays 100% of the leave allowance to regular employees.

The man also says that if the hotel had paid the leave allowance, he would have received about 3 million yen since March last year when the shift disappeared.

The man shared his mixed feelings.

A man in his 40s

"I was in a situation where I might not even be able to pay the rent next month, so I think it was helpful to know that I could get some money. But even though I trusted my workplace, I worked. The situation of being discriminated against when in trouble hasn't changed. I haven't been contacted at all about whether the shift will resume or what will happen, and from the perspective of the company, what are we? "

I was interviewed by a man who wanted to continue working in the same workplace on condition of anonymity, so I could not directly confirm the reason for not paying the leave allowance to the hotel side.

Laws and contracts are "ambiguous"

“The leave support fund is not a fundamental solution,”

says a labor union made up of non-regular employees.

The union has been negotiating with about 30 large corporations over leave allowances.

However, only a few companies have responded to paying full shift workers.

In the first place, the "leave allowance" is an allowance paid by the employer when the worker is taken off due to the company's circumstances.

The Labor Standards Law stipulates as follows.

"In the case of a leave of absence due to reasons attributable to the employer, the employer must pay the worker 60% or more of the average wage during the leave period."

Why can a company continue to openly refuse to pay, as stated in the law?

I asked the union to show me the views of a large company.

"It is a shift system, not a fixed number of working hours and working days. There is no minimum guaranteed time because it is a flexible working style and it is not an employment contract that promises days and hours."

If you work on a shift system, decide the days of the week and hours of work, such as weekly or monthly.

At the very least, in most cases it is not decided how long it will work.

For this reason, companies insist that the "non-shift period" does not fall under the "holiday period" stated in the Labor Standards Law.

According to the union, many of the documents exchanged when starting work are ambiguous.

I asked them to show me some of them, but all of them were vague about the number of working days, such as "due to shifts" and "varies depending on store conditions."

Executive Committee Chairman Harada

“The shift system has been thought to be beneficial to workers, but in most cases workers are not legally protected when something goes wrong. There have been consultations such as "the company has unilaterally cut the shift", but many people faced the same situation in the emergency situation of the corona disaster, and problems were raised. "

The country is also struggling with the "law gap"

After receiving the voices of the parties concerned, it was decided that the leave support would include shift workers working in large companies.

However, the period and amount of payment are limited compared to those who work in small and medium-sized enterprises.

why is it.

The person in charge of the leave support fund of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare explains the reason as follows.

Person in charge of leave support from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

"The government has in principle supported companies with a system called employment adjustment subsidy that subsidizes the payment of leave allowance. There are also large companies that pay leave allowances in the past. In such a situation, going back to the past with a leave support fund creates new inequity between companies and maintains employment of companies. I think it will hinder our efforts. "

If so, the government should strongly instruct companies to pay leave allowances to those who work in shifts.

I asked the person in charge of corporate guidance of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Person in charge of corporate guidance at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

"In general, if a shift has not been decided, it is difficult to evaluate that a company is obliged to pay a leave allowance on days that are not considered as working days under the labor contract. In the end, it will be an individual decision, but I think it is often difficult to give guidance as a violation of the Labor Standards Law. "

The current law was that it would be difficult for the country to instruct all shift workers to pay a leave allowance.

"Shift system is a loophole in the law"

Shoichi Ibusuki, who is familiar with labor issues, points out that "the law that should protect workers has not caught up with the actual situation."

Shijuku Attorney

"Although the shift system, which has no fixed working days or hours, is so widespread, the Labor Standards Law, which should protect workers in general, does not regulate the shift system in mind. Hmm. There is no clear standard for paying leave allowances for shift workers. This is a deficiency in the law, the so-called "loophole". "

According to the Labor Force Survey of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, as of December 2020, 14.83 million people are working part-time or part-time.

The number has increased by more than 1 million since December 2013, when we started collecting statistics by employment type every month.

The number of people working in shifts is also expected to increase.

Ibusuki lawyer complains as follows.

Ibusuki Attorney

"We are entering an era in which nearly half of the workers are in non-regular employment, including shift work. The country should enhance its support measures for shift workers who are on leave. At the same time, I think it's time to review the Labor Standards Law in a timely manner so that shift workers are paid a leave allowance. "

"Shift system" Now is the time to discuss

The leave support fund is an emergency support measure established by the government while it is not possible to provide guidance to companies based on the law.

I think it is true that this system has saved the lives of many people.

The expansion of support to shift workers working in large companies was a major shift.

However, this system is only a special case to overcome the hardships of life in front of us.

Is it okay if the system is over and the infection is over?

The "shift system" is a work style that has spread not only to the working side but also to the demands of society.

How can I protect it when something happens?

Now that problems are occurring, I think we must discuss it with society as a whole.

News post

We look forward to hearing from you.

Social Affairs Department Reporter

Yuka Onishi