October 27th 2018
TOKYO — Japan’s Labor Ministry will conduct a survey on the employment of disabled people by government ministries and agencies following a recently revealed data tampering scandal, informed sources said Saturday.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which holds jurisdiction over the country’s system for employment of people with disabilities, will send investigators to each ministry and agency to find out whether required standards, including the confirmation of disability certificates, are met, according to the sources.
The measure is intended to prevent a recurrence of the padding of the number of people with disabilities government ministries and agencies claimed to have employed with the aim of meeting required disabled employment rates.
As the labor minister’s regulatory power needs to be strengthened to conduct the field survey, the government will aim to have a bill to revise a related law enacted during next year’s ordinary parliamentary session.
A total of 3,700 employees at 28 ministries, agencies and other government bodies had been counted inappropriately as disabled workers as of June 1, 2017, according to a report by a third-party inquiry panel.
As most of these cases involved arbitrary interpretation of the required standards for employment of people with disabilities, such as making no confirmation of disability certificates, the government has indicated a plan to strengthen the checking system including through legislative measures for preventing similar misconduct.
Under the law to promote the employment of people with disabilities, private companies and public institutions are obliged to meet certain proportions of disabled workers in their employees.