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Nursing care provider drops death liability waiver for Filipino workers

Kyodo

A nursing care service provider is no longer requiring its Filipino employees to promise in writing to absolve the company of responsibility for their death, sources said Tuesday.

Details of a new statement the employees will have to sign were not immediately available, but Juju Corp. appears to have made the change after the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry started investigating why the employees had to sign such a statement in the first place, the sources said.

“We have decided that the past document was invalid,” said Hidekazu Kobayashi, head of Kyoei Group, which has Juju under its wing.

After local labor officials commenced an investigation into Juju last Thursday, the company presented a new statement to the Filipino workers and asked them to sign it, according to the sources.

The process has yet to be completed as some of the employees did not understand the details of the new statement, while others did not receive copies, the sources said.

The previous statement that was questioned by labor authorities said “in case of loss of life of the undersigned through natural circumstances while in Japan, I release, waive and forever discharge Juju Corp., its officers, directors, representatives or employees from any action for sums of money or other obligations arising.”

Juju, based in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, also wants to conclude new, more formal contracts for loans to Filipino workers covering their travel expenses to Japan, the sources said. Until now, the company and workers only exchanged promissory notes for this purpose.

In connection with the loans, a former Juju employee is planning to sue the company over the lack of transparency in accounting for the loans.

Juju, which operates 13 facilities in Osaka and Nara prefectures, began to hire Filipinas around 2009.