Central government institutions have been inflating the numbers of people they are hiring under guidelines to hire more people with disabilities, the labor ministry announced Aug. 28.
The ministry said that half of such workers did not qualify for the guidelines as of June 1 last year.
Ministries and agencies reported that, of 6,867.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, 3,460 FTE positions did not meet guidelines that require an employment rate in central government bodies of 2.3 percent. The rate was thought to be 2.49 percent, but the latest announcement lowered it to 1.19 percent.
Experts suspect the inflated reporting of hires with disabilities became rampant due to pressure to achieve the statutory employment rate, which for public organizations is 0.3 percentage point higher than that for private firms, amid expectations for the government to serve as a role model for companies.
Labor minister Katsunobu Kato, who reported the findings to a meeting of ministers earlier on Aug. 28, called the situation “truly regrettable.” (The Japan Times)