Institutional Reform of Working Hours from a Workplace Standpoint: With a focus on incorporated national universities

Creation Date/NO. February 2010 10-J-017
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In the case of public servants, a clear distinction is made between regular days off (Saturdays and Sundays) and public holidays (national holidays and the New Year holiday) and these holidays which are designated as days "when attendance is not required even during regular working hours," are still counted as working hours even when workers are absent. Although this means that the hourly unit value of labor is lower for public sector workers than it is for those in the private sector (overtime compensation is also reduced accordingly), this computational trick is naturally not permitted for private companies. On the other hand, unlike private companies, various leave systems are in place for public workers. In addition to annual leave and sick leave, there are 17 kinds of special leave available, and in the case of permanent workers (equivalent to regular employees at private companies), all of these are paid leave. Public sector also differs from private sector in that 80% attendance is not required to take annual leave and a worker's salary is not reduced during the period of sick leave and maternity leave. Under such circumstances, how have national universities, which were forced to transform themselves from a place for public workers to incorporated entities subject to labor-related laws, dealt with the trial-and-error adoption of institutional reforms for working hours, including the introduction of the discretionary labor system for teachers? This paper discusses how institutional reform of working hours should be approached from the standpoint of workplaces, by using incorporated national universities as an example.