Monday, January 19, 2015



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


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Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)




[read online 199 pages]




Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over the course of their working lives. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less and have fewer benefits than in the jobs they held prior to displacement. Helping displaced workers get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report is the second in a series of reports looking at how this challenge is being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It shows that Japanese employers and the government go to considerable lengths to avoid the displacement of regular workers while also providing considerable income and re-employment support to many of the workers whose jobs cannot be preserved. Challenges for labour market programmes include expanding labour market mobility between regular jobs, improving co-ordination between private and public re-employment assistance for displaced workers, and avoiding that job displacement pushes older workers to the margins of the labour market.


Press Release 19 January 2015

Japan can do more to encourage smooth transition of laid-off workers back into jobs, says OECD


Press Release 19 January 2015

Japan can do more to encourage smooth transition of laid-off workers back into jobs, says OECD


19/01/2015 - Japan could help laid-off workers find a job more quickly by improving co-ordination between public employment services and companies, as well as ensuring that all workers benefit from adequate Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, according to a new OECD report.


Back to Work: Japan says that a significant fraction of Japanese workers are laid off each year and then face long periods of joblessness before finding work, often at much lower wages. While lower than in many other OECD countries, the rate of 1.4% of the labour force laid off each year has changed little since 2000.


Some workers are more at risk than others, especially older, less educated and non-regular employees, particularly those on temporary contracts, and employees of  small firms. Between 2002 and 2013, less than half of all displaced workers found another job within one year. Women and older or less educated workers have the most difficulty finding another job and are more likely to earn less.


The report shows that prevention and early intervention policies, such as the Employment Adjustment Subsidy (EAS), are well developed in Japan and make an important contribution to lowering the number of laid-off workers and the costs that they bear. Even when redundancy is unavoidable, measures such as transferring workers to other companies are sometimes taken to lessen the impact, although these benefits do not apply to non-regular workers.


Women and younger workers in particular receive little or no severance and outplacement support from their employers, and also tend to qualify for shorter periods of EI benefit. The OECD recommends that policy makers assess whether there are gaps in the adequacy of public income support for some groups that need to be filled. 


The report also underlines the need for greater information exchange between private outplacement agencies engaged by employers and the public assistance offered by Hello Work. One good example of early intervention at prefectural level was the early retirement plan announced by Sharp in 2012, involving good collaboration with affected workers that helped many find work quickly.


This thematic review was prepared to help workers who lose their jobs for economic reasons or as a result of structural change to move back into work, and is built on other recent research on topics such as youth unemployment, activation policy, skills and the labour market impact of the Great Recession. Including Japan, nine countries will participate in the review: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Korea, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.




This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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