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Japan to create guidelines to improve conditions for freelancers

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At "Crayon Kids International", a day care centre in Yachiyo, Chiba, they employed the "teachers" as freelance, and didn't pay insurance, etc to them. They also tried to take their legal, 1-hour break from them and sacked one worker (with little or no warning) due to a "lack of new kids" in her class. They teacher was so hard working, they used to stay up to 3am, planning and making content for their classes. The company thanked them for their hard work by sacking them during the pandemic and that teacher couldn't get any unemployment aid.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

There must be minimum protections in place for free-lancers. The law should also define who are really free-lance.

You are not free lance if you only work work for a single client. Like the teachers in the English language schools. Taxi drivers. These types of situations should be employees not self employed.

Free lance should be banned if it only means companies using cheap labor.

I have been free lance for 50 years.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Freelancers. What a scam! The Japanese Government pretends to care about Freelancers in this article, however it was the Japanese Government that not only allowed the status of Freelance ~ they promoted the level of Freelance to companies so that it is easy to fire them at will. Freelancers get nothing but work so hard because they get no health insurance, no bonus, no way to become full time permanent employees. They are, in the eyes of employers, trash to be taken out at will. The the Freelancers have no rights at all. None. And the rest of the citizens of Japan look down on Freelancers. Great job Abe san. You are the best!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

More stupidity from the Abe regime. Freelancers should be required to register as Sole Traders (Kojin Jigyou). By definition a Sole Trader is NOT an employee. Simple really.

The problem is that you have an ageing population of workers, such as in the construction industry, who haven't paid taxes for years. The government likes to "baby" it's citizens and therefore puts the onus on companies to deal with the taxes etc. for contractors and freelancers, the same as employees. That is not the company's responsibility.

We have told the Tax Office and Labour Department to get lost and to do their job- that is to collect taxes and educate freelancers and subcontractors themselves. So far we're winning the argument.

If this becomes too onerous we will stop hiring local people and source workers located overseas to conduct the work remotely.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Paul Laimal-ConvoyToday  07:14 am JST

At "Crayon Kids International", a day care centre in Yachiyo, Chiba, they employed the "teachers" as freelance, and didn't pay insurance, etc to them. They also tried to take their legal, 1-hour break from them and sacked one worker (with little or no warning) due to a "lack of new kids" in her class. They teacher was so hard working, they used to stay up to 3am, planning and making content for their classes. The company thanked them for their hard work by sacking them during the pandemic and that teacher couldn't get any unemployment aid.

Paul, you are a brave man!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Still waiting for 100K after 3 months!

Next week,I won’t have the cash to get to work at all-pay day on the 10th,but I will cancel some jobs next week to buy food instead of going to work...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Not just freelancers, but contract workers, part timers, dispatched employees.. alot of people need protection

10 ( +10 / -0 )

kurisupisu

Still waiting for 100K after 3 months!

Next week,I won’t have the cash to get to work at all-pay day on the 10th,but I will cancel some jobs next week to buy food instead of going to work...

But you have previously said your wife works has a nurse. Why don't you have money for food?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Free lance/self employed/contract/zero contract/part time/.........

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It seems like a lot of legal issues affecting the business sphere, the terms are played with fast an loose when it comes to implementation and regulation. "Kojin Jigyou" I know who work as consultants and art directors have already received one million yen in relief from the government.

Others in teaching with irregular schedules couldn't even get unemployment compensation when laid off and are waiting for the 100K relief if they haven't given up already.

Why not as a start extend unemployment benefits broadly to contract/zero hour/part time/seasonal workers as other countries have done in the wake of the pandemic?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Japan solution: Issue guidelines instead of employment rights laws. Guidelines have no consequences where as laws do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

More stupidity from the Abe regime. Freelancers should be required to register as Sole Traders (Kojin Jigyou). By definition a Sole Trader is NOT an employee. Simple really.

Exactly true freelancers are kojin jigyo青色申告, otherwise you are a p/t employee.

Unfortunatly p/t employees have been badly affected and need more support and regulation.

Whereas we freelancers 青色申告generally pay low taxes and have received a generous payment from the government.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Zichi

The wife’s money is her money and my money is her money...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

More protection for dispatch workers too please. Somehow, I’m at work, but it doesn’t count when I have a free period at school so the company can claim I work only 29.5 hours per week, when effect my working hours are 8.30 to 3.30. In my eyes I’m a full time worker, but my company can get away with paying me benefits due to small loopholes. Support your tax payers Abenomask..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is fundamentally a mixing and confusing of terminology.

If you work for mostly the same employer with no contract, you are "casual labour", a "day-labourer", or on "zero hours".

If you have multiple clients and are registered as a business, you are "freelance".

Being genuinely freelance is generally advantageous to the worker. Being casual labour is very rarely advantageous to the worker. It is almost always negative.

Casualization and dressing up casual labour as "self employment" is a modern trend in capitalism and if anything, Japan is playing catch up with the West rather than leading on it. That said, the government will be 100% aware of what is going on and should be doing more to help in these difficult times.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Basically, governments hate freelancers. Freelancers generally don't donate truckloads of money to political parties, so there's no incentive to do them any favours and it makes for too many individuals to deal with when complaints arise. Big businesses and lobby groups, unions are so much easier.

And on the other side of the aisle, freelancers don't pay union fees, so there's no sense of obligation from Labor types to look out for them either. Plus, freelancers are more likely to be independently minded, especially those of use who find our own customers and despise pointless paperwork and excessive taxation. Governments are a hassle best avoided and ignored for the most part.

In that light, I'd expect any changes to be poorly defined on purpose, with civil servants knowing very little about rules that would be open to interpretation and a burden to the people they are purported to help.

But I'm not cynical :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

carpslidyToday  10:21 am JST

More stupidity from the Abe regime. Freelancers should be required to register as Sole Traders (Kojin Jigyou). By definition a Sole Trader is NOT an employee. Simple really.

Exactly true freelancers are kojin jigyo青色申告, otherwise you are a p/t employee.

Unfortunatly p/t employees have been badly affected and need more support and regulation.

Whereas we freelancers 青色申告generally pay low taxes and have received a generous payment from the government.

carpslidy, you must be one of the lucky ones! While my national income tax isn't too bad, by residents tax is a nasty slug. On top of all the other compulsory contributions and the like.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At "Crayon Kids International", a day care centre in Yachiyo, Chiba, they employed the "teachers" as freelance, and didn't pay insurance, etc to them. They also tried to take their legal, 1-hour break from them and sacked one worker (with little or no warning) due to a "lack of new kids" in her class. They teacher was so hard working, they used to stay up to 3am, planning and making content for their classes. The company thanked them for their hard work by sacking them during the pandemic and that teacher couldn't get any unemployment aid.

I still don’t understand why foreigners from developed countries are willing to work as a language teacher in Japan for such low wages and poor working conditions! Most developed countries like Australia, Canada, UK, and even certain states in the US pay way more to language teachers than Japan. Nowadays, most recruiters in Japan require a degree, native language speaker and if you are such a person than you can definitely find a better job back home or elsewhere. For certain individuals who are here ( in Japan for 1-3 years ) as a language teacher for fun and cultural experiences it’s perfect! But for people who want to make it a career out of this then Japan is definitely the wrong place! Even South Korea language teachers are paid more than the ones in Japan!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kurisupisu

The wife’s money is her money and my money is her money...

Then the 100K will be your wifes money.

Next week,I won’t have the cash to get to work at all-pay day on the 10th,but I will cancel some jobs next week to buy food instead of going to work...

You should know the status if your application if you checked at the link I provided.

By the way, if I am not mistaken wasn't it you who said you run your own export business?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like the revised overwork guidelines, these new guideliness will undoubtedly do the exact opposite of what the government claims to be aiming for.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just see problems with people who are actually real freelancers, and want the freedom of doing work with whoever they want, and not having to pay for the employees pension program.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You are not free lance if you only work work for a single client. Like the teachers in the English language schools. Taxi drivers. These types of situations should be employees not self employed.

I beg to differ. Freelancers should be able to choose to work for only one client if they so wish. Why should a freelancer be forced to work for multiple clients? I know of numerous accredited professionals who work on a contract to contract basis for a variety of single clients such as governments, school boards (in various capacities, not just teachers), in the media and elsewhere.

If you narrow the definition of how someone is permitted to contract freelance work, you only make it less than fair and interfere with ability to collect compensation where it's warranted. And there's no reason why freelancers shouldn't be taxed like other income earners.

Of course, there are some who choose to work in the underground economy for cash only; however, that's a risk they assume fully aware of no protection under the law. I'm not talking about those.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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