Persons with Disabilities’ Low Status Issues in Japan’s Labor Market (Session 6D)
Main Topic: Employment
Session Type: Paper
Currently, only 24.2% of persons with disability passbooks are employed in Japan’s general labor market. The government emphasizes the increasing numbers of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the workforce every year. However, how much progress has been made? Compared to 77.7% of persons between the ages of 18-65 without disabilities in the workforce, there remains a huge disparity between them. This study reveals the manifest imbalance of PWDs in the workforce and its causes. In this presentation, I provide the data regarding PWDs’ average income and proportion in particular job categories and industries, which suggests that PWDs are exclusively assigned to lower-paying positions. Moreover, the income gap between those PWDs and average regular employees has been expanding in these 20 years. Under the quota system, private companies can establish special subsidiary companies (SSCs) to hire PWDs collectively in an isolated workplace, the number of which is increasing year by year. Those indicate that “separation” in the workplace might be prevailing. This workplace “separation” may contribute to the participation of persons with severe or intellectual disabilities in the workforce. Yet, it has an effect on PWDs’ low status in the labor market. This study identifies the customs in the labor market and the legal systems which give enterprises incentives toward workplace “separation” in Japan. Also, according to my analysis, the education system has influenced the PWDs’ employment habits. To promote the physical and social inclusion of PWDs in workplaces, I contend that we need some sort of administrative directive obligating public sectors to report the percentage of PWDs in the permanent workforce who fall within particular income grade levels.
- Japan’s policy for PWDs work and employment
- current situation of persons with disabilities in Japan’s labor market with numbers
- dilemmas of “participation” and “integration” not only in education but also in employment
Keywords: Japan’s Disability Employment Policy, Quota System, Imbalance in the Labor Market, Relegation to Entry-level Jobs, Separation in Workplaces
Dr. Reiko NishidaThe University of Tokyo - Project Researcher
The University of Tokyo
Dr. Reiko Nishida earned her Ph.D. in Law, from The University of Tsukuba and works at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology. Her research focuses on labor law for persons with special needs such as disabilities and family responsibilities. Her interest is how to achieve a fair employment system and how it can be utilized to support the enhanced employment of Japanese citizens with disabilities.