Japan firm obliges Filipino workers to waive its responsibility for deaths
Agence France-Presse in Tokyo
A Japanese nursing-care service provider requires Filipino job applicants sign a statement absolving the company of any responsibility should they die in Japan, the statement obtained by Kyodo News showed Saturday.
”...in case of loss of life of the undersigned through natural circumstances while in Japan, I release, waive and forever discharge Juju Corporation, its officers, directors, representatives or employees from any action for sums of money or other obligations arising,” the statement said.
There have been complaints from Filipino employees about harsh working conditions, while another document showed Juju Corp. in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, had one employee work on night duty 13 times one month.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has started a probe into why the company had its employees sign such a statement, written in both Japanese and English, as well as its working conditions.
Juju operates 13 facilities in Osaka and Nara prefectures in western Japan. It started hiring Filipino women around 2009.
According to Filipino women and documents regarding their contracts, an organization related to Juju distributed the statement to them when they were interviewed in Manila as part of a recruitment procedure.
A former Juju employee said she could not change jobs when she wanted to because she had owed the company hundreds of thousands of yen in travel and other expenses.
Hidekazu Kobayashi, head of Kyoei Group which has Juju under its umbrella, told Kyodo News that he declines to comment on the matter at this point.
Hong Kong, home to some 320,000 foreign maids, has seen several high-profile court cases lately in which domestic workers have alleged torture and abuse at the hands of their employers.
A report by Amnesty International issued last year also warned that Indonesian migrant domestic workers, account for nearly half of all helpers in Hong Kong, are at risk of serious human and labour rights violations in the city.