Sources of Labour Law
Articles 27 and 28 of the Constitution are regarded as being the most fundamental legal sources of labour law. Article 27 s.1 provides for the right to work, thus giving a constitutional basis to the legislation concerning security of employment — including employment exchange agencies, unemployment insurance and vocational training. Section 2 of Art. 27 provides a basis for protective labour law in general by requiring the fixing of standards of working conditions by law. Section 3 of the same article prohibits the exploitation of children, thus providing a basis for the legislative protection of child labour. Article 28 guarantees the right of workers to organize, bargain and act collectively, which gives a constitutional basis to legislation in the field of collective industrial relations. The fact that these Constitutional provisions guarantee the rights of workers, and at the same time the Constitution provides that they should be defined by law ‘in conformity with public welfare’, gives us good reason for interpreting the spirit of the Constitution so as to ensure fairly favourable treatment of workers as against employers. Thus, it is believed, the very nature of the Constitution provides a favourable atmosphere for labour law in Japan.
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