While speaking to the management yesterday about my decision to leave, she told me about a new regulation in Japan that started this year. The new law states that all contract staff who works with a company for five consecutive years have to be given the permanent (正社員) contract in their sixth year. Fortunately or unfortunately, even for those having already worked in a company for over five years, the regulation only applies from this year. Which means, you’ll have to work another five years before your company is obliged to offer you a permanent contract.
Whether or not the staff wants to accept is another story. I’m not certain about the procedures for those opting to remain contract staff, but it’s heartening to see steps taken to secure the livelihood of their people.