Japan to End Pandemic-Linked Job Subsidy Measures

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The labor ministry said Monday that it plans to end special measures linked to the COVID-19 pandemic for employment adjustment subsidies at the end of March.

The ministry presented the plan to a subcommittee of the Labor Policy Council, which advises the labor minister, the same day.

The plan comes as the employment situation in the country is improving.

Under the employment adjustment subsidy program, the government covers some of the allowances that companies pay to workers put on leave. It covers ⅔ of allowances at small businesses and half of those at large companies, with a cap of ¥8,355 per worker per day.

Some of the pandemic-linked measures, including increases in the subsidy coverage rates and the ceiling, were terminated by January. The rest would end in March.

Under the measures, the cumulative amount of employment adjustment subsidies has exceeded ¥6.3 trillion, putting pressure on the government’s fiscal situation.