Japan Top Court Rules for Nonregular Workers over Pay Gaps

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of nonregular workers at Japan Post Co. in three lawsuits they filed to correct the gaps between them and regular employees in allowances and paid leave.

"Gaps in work conditions are unreasonable," Presiding Justice Atsushi Yamaguchi said of the different treatment of regular and nonregular workers at the mail and parcel delivery service unit of Japan Post Holdings Co. <6178>, handing down the unified ruling over the suits at the First Petty Bench of the top court.

In the ruling, the court said that dependent allowances should be given to nonregular workers and that the gaps between regular and nonregular workers in allowances for working on year-end and New Year holidays, and paid summer and winter leave are unreasonable.

At Japan Post Co., the number of nonregular workers stands about 184,000, almost the same as that of regular employees. The top court rulings will likely prod the company to review its allowance and leave systems, sources familiar with the matter said.

The three lawsuits, involving a total of 12 plaintiffs, were filed with district courts in Tokyo, the western Japan city of Osaka and the southwestern city of Saga, respectively. The plaintiffs claimed that the unequal treatment of the nonregular workers in terms of allowances and leave amounts to "unreasonable disparity" banned under Article 20 of the labor contract law.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press