Act on Promoting the Resolution of Individual Labor-Related Disputes


Published: 2004

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Act on Promoting the Resolution of Individual

Labor-Related Disputes

(Act No. 112 of July 11, 2001)

(Purpose)

Article 1 The purpose of this Act is to promote the prompt and appropriate

resolution, adapted to their actual circumstances, of individual disputes

between individual workers and business operators with respect to working

conditions and other matters concerning labor relationships (including disputes

between individual job applicants and business operators with respect to

matters concerning the recruitment and employment of workers; hereinafter

referred to as "individual labor-related disputes") through the establishment of

a system of mediation and so forth.

(Voluntary Resolution of Disputes)

Article 2 If an individual labor-related dispute arises, the parties to said

individual labor-related dispute shall endeavor promptly and in good faith to

achieve a voluntary resolution.

(Such as Provision of Information to Workers and Business Operators, etc.)

Article 3 The Director of the Prefectural Labor Bureau, in order to prevent the

occurrence of individual labor-related disputes, and to promote the voluntary

resolution of individual labor-related disputes, shall provide workers, job

applicants and business operators with information on matters concerning

labor relationships and matters concerning the recruitment and employment of

workers and give consultations and other assistance.

(Advice and Guidance to Parties)

Article 4 (1) In a case where the Director of the Prefectural Labor Bureau is

requested by one or both parties to an individual labor-related dispute (except

disputes which are labor disputes prescribed in Article 6 of the Labor

Relationships Adjustment Act (Act No. 25 of 1946) and disputes prescribed in

Article 26, paragraph 1 of the Act on the Labor Relationships of Specified

Incorporated Administrative Agencies, etc. (Act No. 257 of 1948)) for assistance

in the resolution thereof, the Director may give necessary advice or guidance to

the parties to said individual labor-related dispute.

(2) If the Director of the Prefectural Labor Bureau finds it necessary in order to

provide the advice or guidance set forth in the preceding paragraph, the

Director shall solicit the opinions of persons who have broad knowledge of

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industrial society and have expert knowledge of labor issues.

(3) A business operator shall not dismiss or otherwise treat a worker

disadvantageously by reason of said worker having requested the assistance

set forth in paragraph 1.

(Delegation of Mediation)

Article 5 (1) In a case where one or both parties (hereinafter referred to as

"disputing parties") to an individual labor-related dispute set forth in

paragraph 1 of the preceding article (except disputes with respect to a matters

concerning the recruitment and employment of workers) files an application for

mediation with respect to said individual labor-related dispute, if the Director

of the Prefectural Labor Bureau finds it necessary for the resolution of said

individual labor-related dispute, the Director shall have the Dispute

Coordinating Committee conduct mediation.

(2) The provision of paragraph 3 of the preceding article shall apply mutatis

mutandis to a case where a worker files the application set forth in the

preceding paragraph.

(Establishment of Committee)

Article 6 (1) Dispute Coordinating Committees (hereinafter referred to as

"Committee") shall be established in Prefectural Labor Bureaus.

(2) The Committee shall be the organ that conducts the mediation set forth in

paragraph 1 of the preceding article.

(Structure of Committee)

Article 7 (1) The Committee shall be composed of no fewer than three persons

within the number of persons fixed by Cabinet Order.

(2) Committee members shall be appointed by the Minister of Health, Labor and

Welfare from among persons with relevant knowledge and experience.

(3) The Committee shall have a Chairperson, who shall be elected from among

the Committee members.

(4) The Chairperson shall preside over the work of the Committee.

(5) If the Chairperson is incapacitated, another Committee member elected from

among the Committee members in advance shall represent the Chairperson in

performing such duty.

(Term of Office of Committee Member)

Article 8 (1) The term of office of a Committee member shall be two years;

provided, however, that the term of office of a member who fills a vacancy shall

be the remaining term of such predecessor.

(2) A Committee member may be reappointed to office.

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(3) A Committee member shall carry out his duties until his successor is

appointed.

(4) A Committee member shall serve part-time.

(Disqualification of Committee Member)

Article 9 (1) A person to whom any of the following items applies may not

become a Committee member:

(i) a person who has been bankrupt and has not had restoration of rights; or

(ii) a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment or severer punishment

and for whom five years has not passed since either execution of the sentence

was completed or conclusion of being subject to the execution of the sentence.

(2) If a Committee member comes under the application of any of the items of the

preceding paragraph, the member shall lose his position as a matter of course.

(Dismissal of Committee Member)

Article 10 If a Committee member comes under the application of any of the

following items, the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare may dismiss him:

(i) the Committee member is found unable to perform his duties due to a

mental or physical disorder; or

(ii) the Committee member is found to have committed a violation of obligation

in the course of duties or other misconduct unbecoming to the member.

(Meetings and Resolutions)

Article 11 (1) The Chairperson shall convene meetings of the Committee.

(2) The Committee may not hold a meeting and adopt a resolution unless the

Chairperson or the person who substitutes for the Chairperson pursuant to the

provisions of Article 7, paragraph 5 and a majority of Committee members

attend.

(3) The agenda items of meetings of the Committee shall be decided by a majority

of Committee members present; however, in the event of a tie, the Chairperson

shall decide.

(Mediation)

Article 12 (1) Mediation by the Committee shall be conducted by three mediation

members whom the Chairperson designates for each case from among the

Committee members.

(2) Mediation members shall conduct mediation between the disputing parties,

confirm the main points of the claims of both parties and endeavor so that the

case is resolved in accordance with the actual circumstances thereof.

Article 13 (1) In addition to hearing the opinions of the disputing parties, the

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mediation members may, as necessary, hear the opinions of witnesses, or

request that these persons submit written opinions, prepare a mediation plan

necessary for the resolution of the case, and present it to the disputing parties.

(2) The mediation plan set forth in the preceding paragraph shall be prepared

with the unanimous approval of all mediation members.

Article 14 If it is found necessary based on the application of a disputing party,

the mediation members shall hear opinions with respect to said case from

representatives of relevant workers or representatives of relevant business

operators who are designated by major labor organizations or business

operator organizations within the area of jurisdiction of the Prefectural Labor

Bureau where said Committee is established.

Article 15 If the mediation members find that there is no prospect of resolving

the dispute by mediation, they may discontinue mediation.

(Interruption of Prescription)

Article 16 In a case where mediation is discontinued pursuant to the provision of

the preceding article, if the person who applied for said mediation files a

lawsuit with respect to the claim that was the subject of the mediation within

30 days from receiving notice of such discontinuation, then for the purposes of

interruption of prescription, the lawsuit shall be deemed to be filed at the time

of the application for mediation.

(Requests for the Offering of Material, Etc.)

Article 17 If the Committee finds it necessary for the resolution of the case

pending in said committee, it may request the offering of material and other

necessary cooperation from relevant administrative agencies.

(Reports on the Status of Mediation)

Article 18 The Committee shall, pursuant to the provision of Ordinance of the

Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, report to the Director of the Prefectural

Labor Bureau with respect to the status of mediation.

(Delegation to Ordinance of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)

Article 19 In addition to what is provided for in this Act, necessary matters

concerning the Committee and the procedures of mediation shall be prescribed

by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

(Measures by Local Government)

Article 20 (1) In cooperation with the measures of the National government,

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local governments, in accordance with the actual circumstances of said

relevant area, in order to prevent the occurrence of individual labor-related

disputes, and to promote the voluntary resolution of individual labor-related

disputes, shall endeavor to promote the provision of information, consultations,

mediation and other necessary measures to workers, job applicants and

business operators.

(2) In order to support the measures taken by local governments set forth in the

preceding paragraph, the National government shall provide information and

take other necessary measures.

(3) In the case where a Prefectural Labor Relations Commission receives the

delegation of the governor based on the provisions of Article 180-2 of the Local

Autonomy Act (Act No. 67 of 1947) and takes the measures prescribed in

paragraph 1, the Central Labor Relations Commission may give said

Prefectural Labor Relations Commission necessary advice and guidance.

(Special Provisions Concerning Mariners)

Article 21 (1) Concerning mariners prescribed in Article 6, paragraph 1 of the

Mariners Employment Security Act (Act No. 130 of 1948) and persons seeking

to become mariners as prescribed in the same paragraph, the term "the

Director of the Prefectural Labor Bureau" in Article 3, Article 4, paragraphs 1

and 2 and Article 5, paragraph 1 shall be deemed to be replaced with "the

Director of the Local Transport Bureau (including the Director of Transport

Administration)," and the term "shall have the Dispute Coordinating

Committee conduct mediation" in the same paragraph shall be deemed to be

replaced with "shall delegate mediation to the Local Labor Relations

Commission for Mariners".

(2) The provisions Article 6 to Article 19 inclusive shall not apply with respect to

mediation that the Local Labor Relations Commission for Mariners conducts

pursuant to the delegation pursuant to the provision of Article 5, paragraph 1

as replaced pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

(3) The work of the mediation set forth in the preceding paragraph shall be

conducted by three mediation members whom the chairperson of said Local

Labor Relations Commission for Mariners designates for each case from among

members of the public. In this case, if it is found necessary based on the

application of a disputing party, the said mediation members shall hear the

opinions with respect to said case from members that the chairperson of said

Local Labor Relations Commission for Mariners designates from among the

employer members and labor members.

(4) The provisions of Article 12, paragraph 2, Article 13 and Articles 15 to 19

inclusive shall apply mutatis mutandis with respect to the mediation set forth

in paragraph 2. In this case, the term "committee" in Articles 17 and 18 shall

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be deemed to be replaced with "Local Labor Relations Commission for

Mariners"; the term "the Director of the Prefectural Labor Bureau" in the same

article shall be deemed to be replaced with "the Director of the District

Transport Bureau (including the Director of Transport Administration)"; the

term "Ordinance of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare" in the same article

and Article 19 shall be deemed to be replaced with "Ordinance of the Central

Labor Relations Commission for Mariners"; and the term "the Committee and

mediation" in the same article shall be deemed to be replaced with "mediation".

(5) The authority of the Director of the District Transport Bureau (including the

Director of Transport Administration) prescribed in Article 3, Article 4,

paragraphs 1 and 2, and Article 5, paragraph 1 as replaced pursuant to the

provisions of paragraph 1, and Article 18 as replaced and applied mutatis

mutandis pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph may, pursuant

to the provision of the Ordinance of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,

Transport and Tourism, be delegated to the Transport Bureau Chief or the

head of office of District Transport Bureau, Transport Administration, or the

Transport Bureau.

(Exclusions from Application)

Article 22 This Act shall not apply with respect to national public officers or

local public officers; provided, however, that this shall apply with respect to

disputes concerning the working conditions of employees prescribed in Article 2,

item 4 of the Act on the Labor Relationships of Specified Incorporated

Administrative Agencies, etc.; enterprise employees prescribed in Article 15,

paragraph 1 of the Local Public Enterprise Act (Act No. 292 of 1952);

employees prescribed in Article 47 of Local Incorporated Administrative

Agency Act (Act No.118 of 2003) and local public officers who belong to the

regular service hired to perform simple tasks as prescribed in Article 57 of the

Local Public Officers Act (Act No. 261 of 1950) and who are not employees

prescribed in Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Local Public Enterprise Labor

Relationships Act (Act No. 289 of 1952).

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