Some time ago, I went to Tempstaff for a quick interview and registration of my profile into their system. Many of you might have heard of the company since it also has offices in Singapore, US, China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, etc. It is, as its name suggests, a job agency specializing in temporary positions, although they do occasionally deal with full-time and permanent positions.

In the form I was asked to fill, there was a section on the type of employment I was looking for. There, an option read, “temp-to-perm.” I didn’t think too much of it although I never understood the necessity of having that since I thought it was the same as temp. The only difference is that you may get a chance to be signed as a permanent staff if the company decides so sometime in the future. When the lady said she was going to explain it anyway, my mind went “oh well, I’ll just go through the motion then.” But following the explanation, I realised I had a wrong interpretation all along.

While my understanding of it wasn’t too far off, I had thought the company could take forever to decide. That was the different part. In Japanese law, a temp-to-perm contract stipulates a minimum of a 3-month contract and up to a maximum of 6 months. At the end of 6 months, the company has to decide to either employ you under a permanent contract or let you go. That’s the main difference between a temp-to-perm contract and a temp contract.

At the same time, I also learned that a new law has been erected to protect young people from the trend of businesses depending fully on dispatch workers. The benefits of a company hiring dispatch workers is that they do not have to offer bonuses which is really huge in Japan as it occurs twice a year. I’m permanently under contract so that’s a different story. Back to the dispatch workers story, apart from people already registered prior to November 2012, the only people allowed to be registered for short-term dispatch work hereafter are people who are 1) 60 years old and above, 2) students who are yet eligible for employment insurance, 3) people who do dispatch work as a sideline and whose annual income exceeds 5 million yen, 4) people who are not main breadwinners and whose total household income exceeds 5 million yen.

This revision was aimed to help young people and those who have families to feed to have a stable career and income, and directly or indirectly, I guess there’s a chance it may improve the situation of the low birth rate in Japan if more stability can be assured at a younger age.


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