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The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, plans to call on member companies to raise wages in line with individual workers’ roles and performance instead of doing so across the board, sources said Tuesday.

The policy is slated to be included in Keidanren’s management-side guidelines for next year’s shuntō spring wage talks. The draft guidelines call for efforts to carry out pay raises on the basis of performance and duties, while leaving blanket pay-scale increases as an option for companies seeing favorable business performance.

They also emphasize that companies seeing major downturns in earnings due to the coronavirus crisis should “prioritize business continuity and employment protection” in discussions with the labor side.

After further discussions, Keidanren will adopt the guidelines in January next year, informed sources said.

The draft guidelines argue that the demand for pay-scale increases of around 2% by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, “will unlikely gain understanding from company labor unions.”

They stress the importance of holding labor-management talks after properly sharing the circumstances of the coronavirus crisis.

Keidanren also plans to reject uniform wage raises among businesses such as those in the same industry sector, calling such moves unrealistic. They urge companies with good earnings to consider giving pay-scale hikes in a way that improves workers’ engagement with the company.

The guidelines say that pay-scale increases will be difficult for companies seeing bad business conditions that need to prioritize protecting employment, and they call for careful consideration over whether to pay bonuses and at what level, with business continuity as a priority.

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