日本のおかしな雇用の法律 Strange employment-related law in Japan

先日[せんじつ]、ALT(Assistant Language Teacher)についてのとても興味[きょうみ][ふか]いニュースを読[]みました。

I read an interesting report about hiring ALT on Asahi Shimbun Newspaper the other day.

 日本[にほん]の多[おお]くの学校[がっこう]では、ALTと呼[]ばれるネイティブ・スピーカーの英語[えいご]の先生[せんせい]がいます。多くの学校[がっこう]では、簡単[かんたん]にネイティブ・スピーカー、つまり日本人[にほんじん]でない人[ひと]を雇[やと]う(= to employ)ために、外[そと]の会社[かいしゃ]を通[とお]しているそうです。詳[くわ]しいこと(= details)は複雑[ふくざつ] (= complex)で、実[じつ]は私[わたし]もよくわからないのですが、ある雇用[こよう]形態[けいたい] (= employment condition)では、法律的[ほうりつてき]にその会社[かいしゃ]が雇用者[こようしゃ] (= employer)になります。ALTが働[はたら]く学校[がっこう]は雇用者[こようしゃ]ではありません。この場合[ばあい]、雇用者[こようしゃ]、つまり会社[かいしゃ]がいろいろな責任[せきにん] (= responsibility)を持[]っています。そして、雇用者[こようしゃ]が被[]雇用者[こようしゃ] (= employee)に仕事[しごと]の指示[しじ] (= instructions)を出すことになります。学校[がっこう]は雇用者[こようしゃ]でないので、指示[しじ]を出[]してはいけません。

そうなると。例[たと]えば授業[じゅぎょう]の前[まえ]に日本人[にほんじん]の先生[せんせい]がALTといろいろと話[はな]し合[]ったり、授業中[じゅぎょうちゅう]、日本人[にほんじん]の先生[せんせい]とALTが協力[きょうりょく]し(= to collaborate)ながら一緒[いっしょ]に授業[じゅぎょう]をしてはいけない、ということになります。例[たと]えばALTに「教科書[きょうかしょ]の○○ページを読[]んでください」とは言[]えないのです。日本人[にほんじん]の先生[せんせい]は雇用者[こようしゃ]ではないからです。
 
授業[じゅぎょう]は日本人[にほんじん]の先生[せんせい]の授業[じゅぎょう]ですから(ALTはアシスタント!)授業[じゅぎょう]の責任[せきにん]は日本人[にほんじん]の先生[せんせい]にあります。一緒[いっしょ]に授業[じゅぎょう]をしている人(= ALT)に、いろいろとお願[ねが]いしてはいけないとなると、授業[じゅぎょう]をするのがとても難[むず]しくなります。
 
新聞[しんぶん]にはこんなエピソードが書[]いてありました。ある授業[じゅぎょう]で、ALTが英語[えいご]で話[はな]し始[はじ]めました。話[はな]すスピードがとても速[はや]かったので、子[]どもたちは「全然[ぜんぜん][]からない!」とさわぎ始[はじ]めました(= to start clamouring)。でも、ALTは日本語[にほんご]がわかりません。子[]どもたちのことばが分[]かりません。日本人[にほんじん]の先生[せんせい]は同[おな]じ教室[きょうしつ]にいましたが、ALTに何[なに]も言[]うことはできませんでした。法律[ほうりつ]で禁[きん]じられている(= prohibited)からです。
 
法律[ほうりつ]をきちんと守[まも]ることは大切[たいせつ]ですが、これはほんとうにひどいと思[おも]いました。
 
There are many ALTs in Japan. They are native English speakers. It is great to have such staff in foreign language classes. Many schools hire those people via temporary-employment agencies because it would be easier to find suitable people, it would cut the cost and so on.
 
The issues reported in the newspaper article actually sound complicated and I struggled to understand what was going on when I read several articles even in JAPANESE! But anyway. Briefly speaking (as far as I understand!), when a school finds ALTs in a certain way through such an agency, the lawful employer is the agency, not the school. All responsibilities related to the employment go to the agency. Only the agency has the right to give instructions to those ALTs because of their employer-employee relationship.
 
This means the employment law prohibits the school or the staff at school to discuss teaching plans with the ALTs or to collaborate with the ALTs to run classes. The ALTs are just an assistant and all responsibilities related to teaching belong to the school teaching staff; however the school teachers are not allowed to communicate with ALTs for their classes. The teachers are not allowed even to say & ldquo;Hey, Ms/Mr ALT, could you read xx page of the textbook?” – because this is the instruction and only the agency can say such things!!
 
The newspaper article reported this incident; an ALT started talking to kids in a class in English. Because she spoke too fast the kids did not understand what she was saying. Soon or later the kids started clamouring. The ALT did not understand what was going on since she did not understand Japanese language at all. The class was becoming chaotic but the Japanese staff member right there could not do anything about it because he was PROHIBITED to speak to the ALT even in such a situation under the employment law.
 
How could anybody run a class without speaking to his/her co-teacher standing in the same classroom?? How could those ALTs play their role efficiently without talking to the teacher in charge in class?? Collaboration is literally impossible between them. It is important to obey law, but this is ridiculous.

2 thoughts on “日本のおかしな雇用の法律 Strange employment-related law in Japan”

  • Fumiko Nishimura
    Fumiko Nishimura says:

    Mason-san, don’t worry. This is the case when people got an ALT posision through a certain type of agency. if you become an ALT through, for example, the JET programme, the condition won’t be anything like that.

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