More freelancers to be covered under proposed workers' comp revamp in Japan

Ministry plans to compile opinions on the matter for revision before law's passing in 2024

More freelancers to be covered under proposed workers' comp revamp in Japan

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

The labour ministry of Japan has initiated discussions concerning the expansion of accident compensation insurance for workers, aiming to encompass a broader spectrum of freelancers.

Freelancers are generally not covered by public insurance for work-related injuries as they are not considered employees. However, a special provision allows some freelancers, such as delivery staff using bicycles and computer software engineers, to participate by paying premiums independently.

As of the end of March 2022, more than 750,000 freelancers had enrolled in this provision. The ministry approximates that there are about 4.62 million freelancers in Japan, according to an NHK report.

During a labour ministry discussion held earlier this week, some committee members emphasised the necessity of comprehending accident cases across a wide array of occupations, advocating for adequate safety education for freelancers. Others proposed implementing mechanisms to elucidate the provision, ultimately extending the scope of job categories eligible for this scheme.

Legislation concerning the working environment for freelancers was enacted in April. An additional resolution associated with this legislation calls for an extension of the insurance system to encompass all freelancers desiring to partake in it.

The labour ministry intends to consolidate the committee's opinions and amend essential regulations before the law becomes effective in the autumn of the following year.

Elsewhere in the country, Bigmotor’s insurance scandal may just be the tip of a fraud iceberg as new reports surface implicating other car dealers of illicit activities.

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