Vol.31-No.02 February 1,1992
The Council on Employment of the Handicapped, an advisory body to the Minister of Labour (headed by Yasushiro Shirai, advisor to the Japan Institute of Labour), compiled recommendations on future measures for employment of handicapped persons.
The recommendation, submitted to Labour Minister Kondo, calls for extension of the legally prescribed employment quota of disabled persons into those disabled persons who work short hours of 22 to 33 a week. This aims to encourage employment of those severely disabled people who find it difficult to work full-time for reasons of hospital commutes. The recommendation also asks for substantiated employment measures for mentally retarded persons and formerly mentally handicapped persons.
Acting on the Council's recommendation, the Ministry of Labour will submit a bill revising the Law for Employment Promotion of the Disabled to the next ordinary session. The proportion of disabled people in total employees at private firms has continued to stay low at 1.32 percent, below the legal employment quota of 1.6 percent, for three consecutive years. This is particularly notable among severly handicapped persons. In view of this fact, the recommendation points out the need to encourage employment of severely handicapped persons through the spread of short-time employment as well as various other employment patterns, such as the home work system, flex-time and the satellite office.
The recommendation furthermore notes the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation at the actual work place provided to a certain segment of disabled persons, such as those who are mentally retarded, while allowing them to experience specific societal and working lives. Toward this end, the recommendation asks for full-fledged implementation of a vocational-development assistance project at regional vocational centers for the disabled. Under the project, the regional centers, in cooperation with employers, will give the disabled working-life and technical guidance suited to their needs, to help them develop their own job abilities.
The recommendation refers to substantiated assistance to the disabled after they have been employed. To seek stable employment of persons with severely defective vision and mentally retarded people in particular, the recommendation calls for the need to take proper aid measures, such as assistance of those who help them work at the job site, which will enable them to actively better their qualities. To promote employment of disabled persons, it is desirable that employers, workers and labor unions all unite to tackle the issue, the recommendations adds.
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