National

Nearly 40% of Japan government institutions miss hiring targets for people with disabilities

JIJI

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Wednesday that 17 of 44 government entities saw their numbers of workers with disabilities fall short of necessary levels as of June 1 this year.

The number of institutions with such shortfalls dropped from the previous year’s 35, after a total of 3,623 people with disabilities were hired since October last year partly through employment exams aimed at only those with disabilities.

The proportion of people with disabilities in the workforce at the 44 institutions stood at 2.31 percent, up sharply from 1.22 percent. Still, the rate remained below the legally required level of 2.5 percent.

The number of workers who were hired by the government after quitting private-sector jobs came to 507, or 14 percent of all new workers with disabilities. Of the total new employees with disabilities, people with mental disabilities accounted for some 50 percent. The total number of workers with mental disabilities shot up nearly fourfold.

But a total of 170, or some 5 percent, of the newly employed people have already quit.

The employment rate of workers with disabilities came to 2.4 percent at ministries and agencies.

The National Tax Agency, the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries each still face a shortage of more than 100 workers with disabilities.

But the 44 state institutions have reached over 80 percent of the overall hiring target set for year-end.

The employment rate of workers with disabilities was far below the required level at the Supreme Court and at high, regional and family courts. The overall rate at all the courts came to 1.16 percent.

In a separate survey, nearly 90 percent of employees with disabilities at ministries and agencies said that they are happy or relatively happy at their current workplaces, and 70 to 80 percent said that they are satisfied or relatively satisfied with their jobs, workloads and working environments.

Last year, it came to light that the number of workers with disabilities had been massively padded at a number of government institutions.

Earlier this year, the Diet enacted a bill to amend the law to promote the employment of people with disabilities. The revised law includes preventive measures, including stricter checks by the labor ministry.

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