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Staffing firm's operations may be suspended

December 26 2007
Tokyo-based staffing firm The Goodwill Group Inc. said its staffing operations in Japan may be suspended because of proposed penalties by the government there. Meanwhile, published reports say its founder will resign as CEO.

The company said operations in 89 Japanese offices would be suspended for four months, while the rest of its Japanese staffing offices would be suspended for two months. Goodwill said the government plans the sanctions because the firm allegedly violated the law over referrals of workers to port transportation services and double referrals. The company said it has until Jan. 8 to submit an explanation to the government agency, after which the sanctions will be finalized. The Daily Yomiuri Online said 109 cases of illegal dispatching of workers were confirmed in August, including instances of "double dispatch," where a worker is sent by a staffing client to another company — a banned practice in Japan.

A report on Dec. 25 by Japan's Corporate News Network said founder Masahiro Origuchi will resign as CEO on Dec. 31 but remain as chairman.

Reuters reported that earlier this year Goodwill withdrew from nursing home services in Japan after the government found it had inflated staff numbers.

Last January, a Goodwill executive said the company had become the fifth-largest staffing company in the world with its acquisition of fellow Japanese staffing firm Crystal Co. The deal encompassed Crystal's U.S. holdings, which include TAC Worldwide, Talent Tree, and WillStaff Worldwide.

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