After failing twice, a state-sponsored bill to revise the worker dispatch law so companies can use temporary workers as long as they wish, looks set to pass the Diet now that an opposition party has agreed to put the controversial legislation to a vote, it was learned Saturday.
This is the government’s third attempt to revise the law, which puts a three-year limit on the use of dispatched workers except for those in 26 jobs requiring special skills, such as interpretation. If a company wants a particular worker to stay on longer than three years, it must formally hire that person as a regular employee.
The state-backed bill calls for scrapping the three-year limit on condition that employers hear the opinions of labor unions.
The opposition camp has been fighting the bill, arguing that the legal revision will keep dispatched workers from landing stable jobs.
The LDP and its junior coalition partner, Komeito, are expected to have the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Labor and Welfare vote on the legislation, listed by the Cabinet as a key bill, as soon as next week, to be followed by a full vote in the Lower House.
Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) is making final adjustments to accept a vote in committee in exchange for the ruling camp’s support on one of its own bills, which calls for ensuring equal pay for dispatched workers who perform the same jobs as full-time employees, senior officials of Ishin and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said.
The ruling bloc initially assumed the bill for amending the worker dispatch law would pass the Lower House in early June. But after the hacking of the public pension system came to light Monday, debates on the incident took priority over the bill, leaving the schedule for deliberations and voting in the air.
The bill for equal pay was submitted on May 26 by Ishin and other parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan, the leading opposition force.
The deal is a result of recent negotiations in which the LDP and Komeito agreed to jointly submit a similar bill on equal pay. As a result, Ishin changed its mind and decided to cooperate in putting the bill on revising the worker dispatch law to a vote in exchange.
Although Ishin plans to vote against the bill, it is expected to be enacted with majority support from the ruling camp.
Ishin’s decision is expected to disappoint the DPJ, which was cooperating with Ishin to block the bill’s passage, and possibly disrupt cooperation within the opposition camp.
The state-sponsored bill to revise the worker dispatch law was adopted at a Cabinet meeting in March.