The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) launched the ‘Korea-Japan Dismissal Law Seminar’ to find out ways to improve the current dismissal law. The seminar invited Honorary Professor Susumu Noda of Kyushu University (the former chair of Japan Labor Law Association) and other experts on labor laws of Japan.
Senior FKI Official Lim Sang-hyuk made the opening remarks and said, “this seminar is going to be the venue to seek out ways to turn the high-cost and low-efficient seniority-based employment practices, which were formed in the industrialization era into practices focusing more on duties and results, following the 4th industrialization trend.” He also said, “this event is going to give a lot of implications on Japan’s reactions on the low performers of their works, especially as Japan is one of the first countries that implemented the seniority system.”
The most significant problem of the current dismissal system is, preventing talented young workers to become regular workers
Professor Lee Jung of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Law School (the chair of Korea Labor and Employment Relations Association), who gave the presentation on the 2016 Fair HR of Korean government said, “the 2016 Fair HR is meaningful as it provides the procedural guidelines to the existing dismissal practices on confusing cases of judicial precedents.” He also said “the labor community is misunderstanding the dismissal law. To resolve misunderstandings, businesses must set objective and fair evaluation processes as well as provide well-designed dismissal procedures including re-education and other factors.”
Professor Kim Hee-sung of Kangwon University Law School said, “the most serious problem of the current dismissal system is that talented young workers cannot become regular workers and workers with low performances are maintaining their positions as regular workers. This is unfair and persisting.” He also said, “we need to make the dismissal system more flexible, not for easy dismissal but to ease down the over protective practices for the conventional regular workers.”
Japan in its long-term recession also holds the management of low performers as their most important task
Honorary Professor Susumu Noda of Kyushu University said, “unlike the past where people stayed in one job for their lifetimes, the Japanese businesses are now struggling to manage low performers as the economy is in long term recession and there is less room for personnel expenses.” He added, “in 1960s and 70s when Japan almost achieved full employment, people were able to return to their jobs when dismissals were nullified. But now both Japan and Korea are in low growth state, so our dismissal regulations must be eased to enhance the global competitiveness.”
Professor Noboru Yamashita of Kyushu University Law School made a presentation on “the Precedents Trend Related to the Low Performer Dismissals in Japan.” He elaborated on how Japan’s employment practices became more flexible and said, “The Supreme Court of Japan was being passive about admitting the dismissals of low performers, but the most recent judicial precedents show the court fully confirms the dismissals of low performers with significant and tangible reasons. For example: faulty attitude at works and other reasons.”
Lawyer Tomoka Sugihara (the Chair of Fukuoka Bar Association Dismissal Law), Professor Park Su-keun of Hanyang University Law School, Professor Lee Seung-gil of Ajou University Law School, Professor Kwan Hyuk of Busan University Law School and other distinguished delegates participated in the discussions on improving the dismissal practices of the two countries.