Will part-timers move to long-time?

Why aren’t more part-time workers taking advantage of new rules that would secure their positions long-term? The “J-Cast Bulletin”, in the Yukan Fuji newspaper (27 May), reviews a rule that came into effect in April, and enables part-time or non-regular contract workers to apply for indefinite tenure at their place of work.

So far, according to a survey of the job-hunting service Hatarako Net, only 3% of eligible workers are said to have submitted the relevant requests to their employers.

The system in question, promulgated in 2013, was set up to enable workers who had spent five years with the same employer to have the right to change their status to that of regular company staffer. The low number of applicants for indefinite tenure may be due to a general lack of familiarity with the system. A survey of workers, with 1,369 valid replies, finds that only 9% of respondents said they were familiar with the rule. A further 22% said they “know a little” about it.

According to a PR employee at a retailer in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, “it appears that not many workers know about the rule”. But, he added, “as more of them come to understand it, we expect more will request a change to indefinite employment status”.

One possible answer to the question may be the prospect of instant rewards for part-time workers. The Nikkei Marketing Journal (28 May) reports that Persol Process and Technology, an affiliate of Persol Holdings Co., Ltd., will introduce a service that can be used by retailers or food service industries. For a set service charge billed to the corporate client, the system enables applicants for part-time jobs to receive an advance on wages via Persol. The client then reimburses Persol, which earns a service charge of ¥900 per applicant. The larger the sum paid to the worker, the cheaper it is for the client, since the service fee is fixed.

With part-time workers apparently preferring early remuneration, there are already 1.6 times more workers paid weekly than monthly.