Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Companies plan for citizen judge start

"With the new citizen judge system just months away, companies are trying to figure out ways to cope with possible interruptions to their business caused by staff forced to take leave.

"Companies are also trying to lessen the burden on such employees by creating new paid leave or arranging mental care for those who could be traumatized by dealing with crimes in court.

"Small businesses, however, fear participation by their employees will result in a serious worker shortage. They are asking for special consideration to allow their workers to decline to serve.

"Starting Saturday, the first crop of citizen judge candidates began receiving notices from the Supreme Court that they had been selected for the system that starts in May.

"Department store chain Takashimaya Co. on the same day posted on its in-house website details about special leave created in April 2007 to allow citizen judge service. Both full-time and part-time workers of the stores will be paid wages for their days in court, the company said.

"Under the new system, six citizens will join three professional judges to try serious crimes such as murder. Seven in 10 trials are expected to end within three days, but some could last for a week or more.

"Toyota Motor Corp. plans to create a special leave. It is urging workers receiving notices to consult their section chiefs about work schedules.

"Toyota says it needs to know who may be called up so it can adjust assignments for long business trips.

"Delivery service Sagawa Express Co. will not pay for additional leave, but it still wants employees to report when they receive notices, as other workers may have to be assigned to cover their work areas while they attend trials.

"Meanwhile, shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines told employees who spend most of their year at sea to advise the court that "it is difficult" for them to serve.

"According to a survey by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry in October, only one in four small or midsize firms has set special court leave, or plans to do so.

"Many small firms said they could not afford to spare workers to serve and asked for special exemptions, it said.

"Some businesses also worry about how the trials will affect their employees.

"Job information firm Recruit Co. will have its managers, together with doctors, take care of employees' mental health after they serve as judges. A Recruit official said courts should try to avoid showing explicit crime photos to citizen judges.

"A call center set up by the top court received 3,890 inquiries and complaints from citizens on Monday alone."

By Asahi Shimbun(12/3/2008), Link to article (last visited 12/3/2008)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know first hand what a massive worker shortage we have!
I've a small company and needed to hire 3 assistants for weeks. I've posted ads on the internet, newspapers, and NOTHING!
Ooops! I forgot to tell you. I'm only paying a little more than the minimum wage and the other employees in my company are very difficult to work with. We also offer very few benefits!

HAVE I MADE MY POINT? There is no such thing as a worker shortage!
If you pay enough and treat people well enough you'll have applicants commuting from miles away, lining up around the block to work for you. Raise your wages and working conditions even more and you'll attract people from other industries who will borrow money to self-finance their vocational training (witness the tech boom in the early and mid 1990’s which attracted thousands switching careers from other industries! Paying for their new career education out of their own pockets!

You don't need government blue ribbon committees to study the problem, You don’t need grants, scholarships, "temporary” worker visas, you need to open your eyes and observe! If your money and benefits do the talking, the applicants will come a-walking!