Genba kara miru shōgaisha no koyō to shūrō (The Practicalities of the Employment and Work of Persons with Disabilities - Bridging Law and Practice)
How do laws on employment and work affect people’s working environment? This book attempts to address this question empirically, focusing on the employment and work of people with disabilities.
Laws regarding the employment and work of people with disabilities have changed at a bewildering rate over the past 20 years. The most important policy change for the employment of people with disabilities is the major 2013 amendment of the Act to Facilitate the Employment of Persons with Disabilities prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities and requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodation for such persons. In conjunction with this amendment, measures were implemented to support the employment of persons with disabilities. (The Services and Supports for Persons with Disabilities Act enacted in 2005 introduced systems for supporting the transition to and continued employment of persons with disabilities. In 2012, the name of the law was changed to the Act on Providing Comprehensive Support for the Daily Life and Life in Society of Persons with Disabilities.)
What effect did this amendment have in actual practice on the employment and work of persons with disabilities? How did it change their employment conditions, what are the needs currently perceived in the workplace, and what future measures are thought to be required for the employment and work of persons with disabilities?
This book is a compilation of the results of a survey of people responsible for the employment and work of people with disabilities and, based on these results, discusses future policies for the employment and work of people with disabilities. Specifically, the survey was made of workplaces having people with particularly severe disabilities as regards employment and work, i.e., special subsidiary companies and Type A and B workplaces to support continuous employment or work. The survey consisted of both a written questionnaire and interviews. After investigating and analyzing the current situation and practices related to the employment and work of persons with disabilities, we have applied our findings to examining the role of the relevant laws and legal policies.
The subtitle, Bridging Law and Practice, reflects our hope that this work may serve as a bridge to align more closely the relevant laws and actual practices. “Bridging law and practice” is just as important in the employment and work of persons with disabilities as it is in other fields. Workplaces for persons with disabilities endeavor to apply the principles that the laws seek to realize. But there are also cases in which the legal systems put in place may actually hinder such endeavors. Likewise, there are instances in which the legal principles are not being effectively disseminated in the field. Those responsible for drafting the laws need to take these points into account and make the changes that are necessary. At the same time, those managing the workplaces for persons with disabilities need to reconsider how they are or should be implementing the amendments made in the relevant laws. This kind of interaction between law and practice is essential to improving conditions for the employment and work of persons with disabilities.
This book has been written from the above perspective. Hiring practices and work conditions are important keys to changing society. It is our hope that this book will be read not only by people working in the field of employment for persons with disabilities and by researchers, but also by persons with disabilities, their families, government officials, people working in special-needs schools, and anyone interested in changing society.
(Written by IIDA Takashi, Professor, Institute of Social Science / 2023)