- 日本労務学会誌 (ISSN:18813828)
- vol.19, no.1, pp.26-42, 2018-05-01 (Released:2018-12-27)
This study examines the human resources management systems for spousal transfers, including workplace transfer programs, administrative leave for trailing spouses programs, and reemployment programs. It was revealed that, even when companies had human resources management systems in place to deal with spousal transfers, they were not necessarily thorough in their responses.Workplace transfer programs are offered by companies across the country, implementing course based personnel management systems. Such programs have often been used, but transfers for trailing spouses pose difficulties for the following four reasons. First problem is location. A job location must be found within a territory where the trailing spouse’s company operates, where there must be a job opening, and the more rural area is, the fewer jobs it has. Second problem is job content; as the work may vary according to the workplace locations, one may have to make a choice to opting for the location or for a job in which one has experiences. Third, such programs are part of regular personnel rotations, hence, there is a time lag before starting the new job. The program applicants have to deal with issues involved in the job transfer while waiting for the company’s decision on whether the relocation is accepted. Fourth, such programs do not envision reuse within a short period of time. Though reuse is formally possible, it is not culturally accepted.Administrative leave for trailing spouses programs is mainly set to prevent women in career track positions from resigning. In many companies, such programs are limited to those whose spouses have been transferred overseas. This non-statutory leave involves the following three issues. First, such programs contain several restrictions: approval authority lies with the company and the total of each leave period must be within the fixed limit. These restrictions make it impossible for such programs to meet individual needs. Second, administrative leave causes a gap in one’s career. Because such programs are not statutory, the companies do not offer assistance in reentering the work force, and it is not even considered. Third, cases of domestic transfers are basically ineligible. In addition, there are no plans to expand such eligibility.Reemployment programs are implemented as a form of mid-career hiring, so they are easy to introduce, and many companies have done so. Reemployment after being out of the work force is not the continuation of employment but a way to restart employment, which involves the following three issues. First, taking advantage of these programs is difficult unless the employee’s spouse’s transfer has been stopped, because there is a limit to the number of years that one may be out of the work force. Second, similar to administrative leave for trailing spouses programs, there would be a gap in one’s employment history, so getting back into one’s career is difficult. Third, reemployment possibilities are determined by companies’ needs since such programs can be customized for responding the business climate.Job transfers affect not only the transferred ones but also their spouses’ companies. Companies that transfer employees are on both the giving and receiving ends of this impact. However, the fact is that companies have little awareness of it. Even if they introduce human resources management systems for spousal transfers, they are unable to carry them out well. When a company transfers an employee, it is crucial to consider how to support the employee, which includes provision of an adequate explanation beforehand, coordination between the company and the employee, and achievement of a mutual agreement.