SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Haken (employment)

Haken is the Japanese term for temporary employees dispatched to companies by staffing agencies. The temporary staffing industry in Japan is regulated by the 1985 Worker Dispatch Law; the original aim of this law was to regulate the extra-legal system of subcontractor personnel dispatching that had become commonplace in the automobile and electronics industries. Designed to allow project-based work and temporary staffing in sectors plagued by shortages of skilled workers, the 1985 law limited temporary staffing to a "white list" of 13 occupations, but subsequent revisions expanded its range of application. Notably, the 1999 revision replaced the "white list" with a short "black list" of occupations where temporary staffing remained restricted; this had the effect of opening most of the labor market to the temporary staffing industry. The 2004 revision removed most of the remaining restrictions on temporary staffing in the manufacturing sector; the result was an enormous expansion of temporary labor in the Japanese labor market.

Between 2000 and 2007, the number of regular employees in Japan declined by about 1.9 million, while the number of nonregular workers increased by about 4.5 million. By 2008, short-term contract and temporary staffing workers had increased from a small percentage to more than 30% of the Japanese labor force. There are two types of haken: "Specified worker dispatching undertakings" whereby a temp agency hires temporary workers on a regular basis and sends them on assignment to work at its client companies. "General worker dispatching undertakings" whereby a temp agency registers temporary workers and sends them to its client companies on a contingent basis by signing a per-job contract each time the agency receives an assignment from its client companies. Haken-giri is the Japanese term for layoffs of temporary employees dispatched to companies by staffing agencies. In particular, it refers to the wave of layoffs that followed the financial crisis of 2008, which highlighted recent structural changes in the Japanese labor market and prompted calls for reform of the labor laws.

Estimates of the number of layoffs between October 2008 and March 2009 range from 131,000, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, to 400,000, according to staffing industry associations. The problem was acute because temporary workers enjoy few of the rights and benefits that protect full-time regular employees. For example, at least half of Japan's non-regular workers are ineligible for unemployment benefits because they have not held their jobs a year or longer. In many cases, both haken and short-term contract workers were laid off before the terms of their contracts, but the lack of penalties in the labor laws meant that no redress was available except through civil lawsuits. Public interest in the plight of the laid-off workers peaked around the end of 2008, when 500 unemployed and homeless temporary workers converged on a "New Year's Haken Tent Village" in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo. Well-known lawyer and consumer advocate Kenji Utsunomiya was declared the "honorary mayor" of the village.

According to the organizing committee, many of the workers were in poor physical condition, eight were hospitalized with pneumonia. In response, some companies rescinded their early layoffs, or at least agreed to allow temporary workers to continue living in company dormitories until the period of their contracts, but the widespread public perception that large corporations had failed to live up to their social responsibilities led to calls for reform of the labor laws. In February, the Tokyo Bar Association issued a 10-point statement calling for reforms such as restoration of the "white list" of skilled occupations, an upper limit on margins levied by staffing agencies, prohibition of dispatching within corporate groups, stricter penalties for early layoffs. In 2010 the Japanese government has indicated that it intended to revise the Worker Dispatch Law in regard to temporary employees; the main points of the revision centered on: problematic registration-type dispatches will be prohibited in principle, except for specialized jobs, such as language interpretation.

In 2015 further revisions came into effect, which were seen as a mixed blessing for temporary workers and were expected to increase industry's use of such labor. Shire, Karen. "The Temporary Staffing Industry in Protected Employment Economies: Germany and the Netherlands". 2008 Industry Studies Conference Paper. SSRN 1126820

Savon Sanomat

Savon Sanomat is a Finnish language morning broadsheet newspaper published in Kuopio, Finland. Savon Sanomat was established in 1907; the paper is part of the Keskisuomalainen Oyj Group. The company owns Keskisuomalainen. Both papers are published by Keskisuomalainen Oy. Savon Sanomat is published in broadsheet format; the circulation of Savon Sanomat was 67,212 copies in 2001. In 2003 the paper had a circulation of 65,000 copies; the 2004 circulation of the paper was 66,250 copies. The same year the paper had a readership of 179,000; the circulation of the paper was 64,471 copies in 2006. Savon Sanomat had a circulation of 64,789 copies in 2007, its circulation was 65,056 copies in 2008 and 64,113 copies in 2009. It was 61,546 copies in 2010 and 61,666 copies in 2011, its circulation fell to 59,289 copies in 2012. Official site