TOKYO — Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has decided to raise the legal employment rate for persons with disabilities from 2.3% to 2.7%. This is the largest increase since the current system was introduced.
The proposal will be submitted to the January 18 subcommittee of the Labor Policy Council, an advisory body to the Minister of Labor. The government plans to raise the tax rate in two stages, 2.5% in April next year and 2.7% by the end of fiscal 2026, taking into account the period of preparation for companies to change the system.
Countries and local governments with higher employment rates for people with disabilities than the private sector will raise the rate to 3%, while prefectural boards of education will raise the rate to 2.9%. Similarly, the same 0.4 point increase as the private sector will be applied in two stages.
The Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act currently requires companies with 43.5 or more employees to have a disabled employment rate of at least 2.3%. This is a measure to increase the number of jobs for such people.
As of June 1, 2022, the number of people with disabilities working at companies reached approximately 614,000, a record high for the 19th consecutive year. However, only 48.3% of companies have achieved the statutory employment rate. Many SMEs do not have the know-how to employ people with disabilities, and it is believed that they will need further support in the future.
(Japanese original by Natsuko Ishida, City News Department)