METI to Request Ordering Companies to Take Appropriate Care in Trading with Individual Business Operators and Freelancers Affected by Novel Coronavirus Disease
March 10, 2020
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), in joint name with the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Chairman of the Japan Fair Trade Commission, will request, through related associations, ordering companies to take appropriate care in trading with individual business operators and freelancers affected by the novel coronavirus disease.
As the novel coronavirus disease is spreading across the world, the impact caused by the disease on supply chains and other business activities has already been seen in Japan as well as other countries.
The government considers it important to minimize the negative impacts on individual business operators and freelancers, whose business bases are vulnerable to such adverse conditions and whose decrease in income is highly likely to directly result in worsening their daily lives. To this end, METI, in joint name with the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Chairman of the Japan Fair Trade Commission, will request through related associations, ordering companies to take appropriate care in trading with such individual business operators and freelancers (see the Appendix).
2. Details of the request
If ordering companies intend to change any existing contracts with individual business operators or freelancers as transaction counterparties of the companies based on the ground that the companies will prevent the expansion of the novel coronavirus disease or they are facing a decline in demand along with the expansion of the disease, the companies should provide satisfactory consultations with the operators or freelancers, and then should take appropriate measures, e.g., preparing a written document of new terms and conditions of trade clearly stipulating remuneration and due dates and other rules, based on the purposes of related laws and regulations, e.g., the Act on the Promotion of Subcontracting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the Antimonopoly Act and the Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds, etc. to Subcontractors.
If individual business operators or freelancers as transaction counterparties of ordering companies are affected by the novel coronavirus disease and the operators or freelancers intend to continue or resume his/her business activities, the ordering companies should strive to take care in continuing the conventional trading relationships with the operators or freelancers as far as possible or placing orders with them on a priority basis.
- If individual business operators or freelancers as transaction counterparties of ordering companies request the ordering companies to extend the deadline of delivery, etc. based on the grounds that the operators or freelancers are suffering from a fever and other symptoms often seen upon catching a cold or are facing changes in business environments due to the calling off of their children’s classes, the ordering companies should provide satisfactory consultation occasions with the operators or freelancers, and then, they should take as flexible measures as possible.
Division in Charge
Human Resources Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau