Foreign carers to be supervised during night shifts for 1st 6 months
TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Foreign nursing-care staff who come to Japan under a new residence status that comes into force in April will work alongside other personnel during night shifts in their first six months, labour ministry sources said.
New residence statuses will be available to foreigners with “designated skills,” which includes the provision of nursing-care services for elderly people.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will likely ask nursing-care service providers nationwide to arrange for foreign employees to work on night shifts alongside several other personnel, including Japanese colleagues, according to the sources.
Notices will be sent to service providers via local governments by the end of the month asking them to make necessary arrangements, in a move aimed at dispelling concerns held by recipients of nursing-care services, among others.
Foreign nationals will be allowed to engage in the provision of nursing-care services if they pass an examination testing their skills and knowledge related to the Japanese language and nursing-care work, or if they have accumulated three years of experience as technical intern trainees.
Eligible foreigners will be permitted to work under the Type-1 skill residence status.
The labor ministry will ask nursing-care service providers to ensure that foreign workers for their first six months do not work on night shifts alone, and that they are supported by other personnel when they assist elderly people during such daily activities as having meals and bathing, among other things.
If foreign nationals come to Japan to work at nursing-care facilities through economic partnership agreements with their home nations or under Japan’s technical intern training program, they are not counted as regular personnel for their first six months, based on standards set by the government for such institutions.
However, holders of the Type-1 skill residence status will be counted as regular staff members from their first day of work, meaning foreign nationals with that status will be providing nursing-care services immediately as regular personnel.
With this in mind, the ministry is seeking to reinforce the safety of nursing-care services by supporting foreign personnel for a period of time, until they are accustomed to their working environments.