New Visa Category for Japan to Welcome Blue Collar Employees from Overseas
New Legislation Enacted
On December 14, 2018, the Amendment to the Immigration Act was enacted and will become effective April 1, 2019. The Act creates a new visa category for “Designated Skills,” which will allow so-called blue collar workers to work in Japan in industries where a workforce shortage is critical. The applicable industries would include elderly care, building cleaning, material industry, industrial machinery manufacturing, electronics relate industry, construction, shipbuilding, vehicle maintenance, aviation, hotels, agriculture, fishery, food and beverage manufacturing, food service.
Initiative to Tighten Regulations on Anti-Harassment in the Workplace
Proposed Bill or Initiative
On December 14, 2018, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) announced its intention to introduce a new law to further regulate harassment in the workplace. The proposal will seek to create a law against “power harassment” (i.e., bullying in the workplace) and require employers to take appropriate measures to prevent it. The proposal also seeks to impose additional obligations on employers to prevent sexual harassment, including taking appropriate measures to protect employees from sexual harassment by third parties (e.g., clients or subcontractors). It also will clarify the prohibition against retaliation for bringing harassment claims.