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Government to ask firms for turnover data in ‘black’ company crackdown

Kyodo

The labor ministry has decided to request that businesses disclose their employee turnover data when hiring new graduates as a way to stem abusive employment practices by so-called black companies, a ministry source said.

A black company is a term that refers to an employer that signs up a large number of new graduates assuming many of them will quit due to harsh working conditions such as extended overtime, low wages and harassment.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is planning to ask companies that are hiring university and graduate school students graduating in spring 2015 to include in the job opening posts they submit to Hello Work public recruitment centers figures for how many employees they hired and how many quit in the previous three years, the source said.

It will not be mandatory to provide the turnover data, but failure to do so will likely raise suspicions among job seekers, the source said.

Job opening posts for high school graduates already have boxes for turnover data, according to the ministry.

Young workers at information technology companies are said to have been the first to call their employers black companies in the early 2000s, via the Internet, because of bad working conditions. Such companies are now found in a broad range of businesses, including retail, food, servicing, nursing and nursery services.

The ministry has surveyed about 4,000 companies across the country to check if they are complying with the Labor Standards Law and has provided guidance when necessary. The ministry is planning to publish its findings later this month.

It plans to bar companies that do not correct their abusive practices from soliciting employees through Hello Work job centers.