The Employment Contract in Japan - Atypical and Dependent Self-Employment Dialogue or Monologue?

AutoreKoichiro Yamaguchi
The Employment Contract in Japan – Atypical and
Dependent Self-Employment Dialogue or Monologue?
K Y
1. Preface.
Professor Veneziani is a scholar who has innovated the approach for research
and study of Italian labor laws [191] (“uno studioso che ha innovato l’approccio
alla ricerca e allo studio del diritto del lavoro italiano”), as was his maestro,
Professor Giugni. From his rst publication [pubblicazione 9] to his latest trea-
tise [183], all of the many works Professor Veneziani has released thus far offer
valuable suggestions and implications to the Japanese audience.
Unfortunately, as the Japanese tend to be rather unfamiliar with Italian, not
all of his works have reached them, although [58] and [188] have been widely
read in Japan. These two treatises present his analysis of the making and tran-
sformation of the employment contract from the viewpoint of comparative law,
and they are both interesting to Japanese legal scholarship as well.
This essay is my attempt at a unilateral dialogue with Professor Veneziani on
some aspects of the employment contract in Japan.
2. Transformation of the employment contract.
2-1. According to Professor Veneziani, the traditional model of the em-
ployment contract “was based on the unities of place and work (work performed
on the premises of the rm), of time and work (work carried out in a single tem-
poral sequence), and of action and work (a single occupational activity)” [188,
p. 114].
However, since 1970, this model has not been viable any more in Europe.
Professor Veneziani called this transformation deviation, and indicated ve
types of deviation [188, p. 115 et seq.]
The rst type of deviation relates to the duration of the contract. Under civil
codes, a contract of indenite duration is a standard form of contract, and a -
xed-term contract is used exclusively in specic sectors or for specic purposes.
However, from 1980, it became a trend to restore the party’s free will and relax
the limitations on the use of xed-term contracts. Under the weak regulations
imposed by social partners, the xed-term contract contributed to creating a e-
xible workforce. Upon being allowed to use this form of contract, the employer
was held responsible for providing workers with training opportunities, whereas
the only legal sanction against the employer for terminating the contract was that
repeated renewals would turn the contract into one of indenite duration.

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