I’ve heard a lot about this at work and online… but isn’t the “uncle who doesn’t work” comment harassment? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

I’ve heard a lot about this at work and online… but isn’t the “uncle who doesn’t work” comment harassment?

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‘Uncle’ is a word that has no place in the business world in the first place

The “workaholic” has been a target of the Internet since 2014, and now it’s back with a vengeance. They are a burden to the company, redundant, and demoralizing to those around them, and the criticism directed at them is relentless.

  • They spend an hour on the phone explaining work requests that could be done with a single line of an e-mail.
  • He throws all Excel-based work to his subordinates.
  • “He surfs the Internet whenever he gets a chance and pretends to be working in front of his boss.
  • “He never leaves the office after the regular time because he works too late, even though it’s an easy department.
  • “He is not only incompetent but also lacks humility.

They are not only incompetent, but also lack humility.

The “non-working uncle” is also known as “Mr. Fairy. It is said to refer to a shadowy middle-aged or older employee who is always at a loose end, whether he is working or not (illustration by Matsumoto Rieko).

Although they are paid a high salary by the company in order of seniority, they are not able to do their jobs and are useless. When you see such middle-aged and older employees up close and personal every day, even your own motivation is lowered. It is not hard to understand why middle-aged and young businessmen are so angry.

However, is not this harsh “workaholic uncle” comment considered harassment?

I think that the cases in which the terms “uncle” and “auntie” are considered harassment are limited to the workplace. The word ‘uncle’ is not necessary in the business world, so it may be considered harassment if you use it in your company.

Masami Kimura, a labor and social security lawyer who specializes in corporate labor management, including mental health and anti-harassment measures, says this. She has often heard the term “unworking uncle,” but recently looked up the meaning of the term on the Internet.

I found that the term refers to middle-aged and older employees whose wages are not commensurate with the work they do. They can’t use computers, they are not very good at what they do, and they can only do about half as much work as younger employees. And yet they are paid a high salary.

In Japan, there are still few companies that completely adopt a performance-based wage system, and most companies still use a seniority system to determine wages. Rather than being based on ability and results, salaries increase with age. Younger employees may be frustrated, wondering why an employee in his/her 50s who seems to be doing nothing is paid more than one who is busy working every day. But if you call him an “old man who doesn’t work,” that would be harassment.

Not working for your paycheck …… early on is “pay slob.”

No matter how much resentment they may have built up, even a courageous young employee is not likely to say to the face of a superior, “I think you should have your salary reduced if you don’t work.

How about a somewhat more indirect “I want you to do work that is commensurate with your salary”?

In other words, it is the same as saying, “I want you to do a job that is worthy of your salary. But if you use the word straight, it is harassment, but what about if you use the phrase, ‘I want you to do a job that is worth the paycheck. I think that bashing “doldrums” is a form of power harassment, but it’s difficult to draw a line because power harassment can be so ambiguous.

I am sure that there are many mid-level and young employees who think that the non-working men in their company are “payroll slobs. However, even if they shout about it in their minds or complain about it with their coworkers, it will not reach their ears. Therefore, there is a great possibility that the “droll boy” himself is unaware of it.

If he is not aware that people around him think he is a salary dredger, it does not constitute harassment. In many cases, harassment becomes apparent when the individual complains of it, so it is not discussed before it becomes or does not become an issue.

However, it may be recognized as harassment when those around you become aware that the person is being subjected to power harassment. Nowadays, the Power Harassment Prevention Act requires all companies to set up a harassment consultation counter, and for example, a third party can report to the consultation counter, saying, “I saw Mr. A harassing Ms. B.

The company then has to conduct an investigation by interviewing the harasser, the harassed person, and the surrounding employees. As a result, the harassment may come to the surface.

It is unfortunate that a third party has to be made aware of the unflattering label of “the uncle who doesn’t work” because he consulted with the company, even though he is completely unaware of the harassment. ……

IT skills, it turns out that many veteran employees choose to take the easy way out and “ask younger people to teach them. Is it better to just show an attitude of “let them teach me” instead of “let them do it”? (From a survey on “Skills Respected by Younger Employees and Veterans, respectively” by Likeness Inc.)

Japan has been a heaven for the “Uncle” who doesn’t work…

I think there are many middle-aged and older employees who have never thought that they are not hard workers or useless people. I think there are many middle-aged and older employees who have never thought that they are useless or ineffective.

I wonder if there are any young employees who are frustrated by such bosses and senior employees, and who would like the company to “do something about that person.

Young people today want to have skills that can be used in any company they go to,” he said. However, they have bosses at work who are useless and senior employees who work idly, so they don’t acquire the skills they want, nor do they feel that they are becoming useful people. I think young people will make the choice to move to a company with a better environment for them, rather than trying to change their boss there.

For the company, if there are too many uncles in the company who don’t work, it will lead to an exodus of talent. As a result, it would be a loss for the company.”

The company cannot afford to have promising young employees quit. In order to stop this from happening, some companies may target the non-working uncles for restructuring.

But that is not an easy thing for a company to do. Lack of ability is usually one of the reasons for dismissal, but you have to prove the degree of lack of ability and that it is a sufficient reason for the employee to quit. That is very difficult.

In the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, there are circumstances in which it is not possible to dismiss a worker, no matter how much he or she does not work. If he quits, we will be in trouble because we will not be able to replace him because we do not have the human resources. We have no choice but to ask our current employees to do their best.

Unlike Europe and the U.S., Japan still has low labor mobility, so it is difficult to find a new job even if you want to change jobs. That is why the government protects workers by establishing termination regulations so that companies cannot easily fire them.

If he is the kind of man that everyone agrees does not work, there is no way he would give up his privileged situation of receiving a high salary and being able to stay until retirement. He is likely to continue to work at the company, taking no notice of the criticisms of the younger employees.

Even if you are an old man who doesn’t work, the company will not let you quit unless there is something wrong with you, and will not lower your salary unless you fall under the retirement age. Uncles are more protected by the company than young people realize. They are protected both legally and in terms of their position.”

So, Japan is a paradise for non-working uncles.

No matter how much anger the younger employees direct at him, he will not change. It is a waste of time and energy to get angry.

As I said, young employees who want to improve their skills will choose to change jobs. If you feel that the presence of the “no-worker” in the workplace is lowering your motivation and is preventing you from growing, I think it is a good idea to consider moving to a new location.

If you can no longer tolerate the non-working old men in your workplace, it may be time to change jobs.

Masami Kim ura, a certified social insurance and labor consultant, was born in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1963. After graduating from a vocational school, she worked for a travel agency, a life insurance company, and a temporary staffing agency before opening her own firm in 2004. He has been a consultant for companies on mental health and harassment countermeasures, a lecturer at seminars, and a writer for a wide range of publications.

For the Kimura Office website, click here.

  • Interview and text by Sayuri Saito

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