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New labour guidelines in Japan Aims To Protect LGBT Workers

Japan To Protect LGBT Workers

6 July 2016

By Jamie O'Neal - QL NZ

Over in Japan the country's Labour ministry is to define discrimination against LGBTI's as a form of sexual harassment in its guideline for employers.

In Japan currently, the guidelines define sexual harassment as any language or actions that are sexual in nature and directed toward or between employees – but until now they have not included reference to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender employees.

The new guidelines will include reference to sexual orientation and gender identity, and will be implemented from January 2017.

Japan's Labour ministry guidelines was in response to a group of 30 companies, including IBM Japan, Panasonic, Sony, IBM Japan, Dentsu and Dai-ichi Life Insurance, announcement that a new set of standards for boosting LGBT diversity and inclusivity at work in their companies was to be launched.

The companies' HR-drafted guidelines included recognition of same-sex partnerships and the extension of spousal benefits to same-sex partners, and appropriate bathroom policies for transgender employees.

While homosexuality is legal in Japan, and gay people are allowed to serve in the military there is currently no recognition of same-sex relationships and gay people are not allowed to adopt children. There is also a lack of anti-discrimination laws with regards to LGBT equality.

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