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Japan labor standards law

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Rules and determination of working conditions

  • The work will have to satisfy the necessary situations of the worker so that he can lead an adequate life.
  • The working condition will have to be determined by the employer and the worker.
  • The employer will not be able to discriminate the working conditions related to salary and working hours or other reasons.
  • The employer and the worker will have to honestly fulfill each of their duties such as the agreement, labor regulation and employment contract.


  • The employer will not be able to differentiate the salary of the worker with that of men because she is a woman (Regulation of the Law of Equal Salary between men and women).

Employment Contract

  • When signing an employment contract, the employer must clearly express the working conditions to the worker, details such as salary, working hours (daily working hours), overtime and other items regarding working conditions. In this case, in addition to the specifications of the items referring to salary and working hours, it is necessary to specify the other items that are determined by the Ministry of Labor (Ministry of Health, Work and Social Welfare).
  • The specifications must be detailed as determined by the Ministry of Health, Work and Social Welfare. If the working conditions are not in accordance with the specifications, the worker can immediately cancel the employment contract with the employer.

Important: The worker who had to change residence because of work, and for reasons of dismissal, wants to return to the previous residence within 14 days after cancellation of the contract, the employer must pay all expenses necessary for moving back.

Prohibition of predetermined indemnity

  • The employer cannot determine in the contract the amount of compensation for resigning during the term of the contract or set an independent amount in anticipation of the indemnification of the fine in the contract.

Prohibition of deduction for advance

  • The employer cannot deduct from the worker’s monthly salary any amount to compensate for the advance he has made as a precondition for work.

Restrictions on dismissal

  • According to the criterion of Article 65 of the Labor Standards Code, the employer cannot dismiss the worker for 30 days after the last day of the Compensatory Benefit for days stopped due to an accident at work or pre and postpartum. But as per the regulation of Article 81 if the employer pays severance pay or causes dismissal for reasons of incident of natural calamity (earthquake, typhoon and others) or for unavoidable reasons of not being able to continue the business (bankruptcy), in that case, no will be limited (the notice system for dismissal will not apply).

Prior notice of dismissal

  • If the employer decides to dismiss the worker, he must give notice at least 30 days in advance. The employer who does not grant the 30-day notice must pay 30 days or more of the average salary (Payment of notice for dismissal). But, for reasons of natural calamity incident (earthquake, typhoon or others), or unavoidable reasons not being able to continue the business (bankruptcy), or when the reason for dismissal is the responsibility of the worker, the prior notice system for dismissal will not be applied.

Certificate of Dismissal

  • The dismissal certificate must include the period of work, Type of work, Position or function of the worker, Salary, and also the reason for dismissal. If the resigning employee requires the issuance of a certificate, the employer must issue it immediately.
  • The employer cannot conspire in advance by talking to a third party, nationality, beliefs, social position of the worker or subject related to the union movement. Even the certificate cannot contain.

Return of value objects

  • If the employee dies or, due to his own circumstances, resigns or is dismissed, the employer must pay the salary within 7 days from the date of the request of the worker or the person who has the right to be paid. You must return all valuables such as Compulsory Deposit Savings, Bail deposit, Savings, etc., and also return the other objects independent of any belongings of the worker’s right.

Salary payment

  • The salary must be paid in cash, directly to the worker, in the total amount (determined by the Ministry of Labor). And on the part of the salary deduction such as rent, meal and others, they can be deducted from the salary as long as there is a special agreement determined by the Labor Union represented by the majority of workers.
  • The salary must be paid more than once a month on a defined date, with the exception of extraordinary salaries such as bonuses, allowances and others, which are not mandatory payments as determined by the Law of the Ministry of Health, Work and Social Welfare (Ministry of Labor of Article 89 of the Labor Law Code).

Work suspension compensation

  • In the case of suspension of work activities due to circumstances of the employer, if a day off was given on a day that would be work, the employer must pay compensation for suspension of activity corresponding to at least 60% of the worker’s average remuneration.

Working hours

  • With the exception of the rest period, the employer cannot order the worker to work more than 40 hours per week.
  • With the exception of the break time, the employer cannot order the worker to work more than 8 hours a day.

Rest and break

  • The employer must grant at least 45 minutes of rest break to the worker when the workday exceeds 6 hours, and 60 minutes of rest break when the workday exceeds 8 hours (Labor Standards Law).
  • The employer will not be able to subordinate or request anything from the worker during the specified rest hour.

Day off

  • The employer must provide the worker with at least one day of rest per week (Labor Standards Law). 
Work on days off and overtime
  • Agreement 36 (agreement on overtime and work on the day off), if the company has its own union formed by more than 50% of the workers, the agreement must be signed with this union, with respect to the company that does not have its own union formed by more than 50% of the workers, the employer must sign the agreement with the representative of the majority of the workers, and present this signed agreement to the Office of Inspection of Labor Norms and according to the determination of this union agreement, it may make the worker works after hours (overtime), or work on rest days. However, work activities designated as harmful to health by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare such as work in the mines shall not extend working hours by more than 2 hours per day.
  • According to the regulation, if the employer exceeds the working hours established by law or works on days off (overtime), the employer must calculate and pay an average between 25% to 50% of extra remuneration on the normal salary, according to the percentage determined by law.
  • If the employer orders the worker to work at night, from 22:00 until 5:00 in the morning, he must calculate and pay 25% of extra remuneration on the normal salary.
  • In certain cases, if the worker has to perform a part or an integral part of the service outside the company, and the calculation of the hours worked is difficult to calculate, in this case, he will be considered as if he had worked normally within the hours established by the company. However, if on that day the hours worked exceed the normal hours, in this case, the total hours necessary to carry out the work will be considered as determined by ministerial order. (Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare).

Annual paid vacation

  • The employer must grant paid annual leave corresponding to 10 days to the worker who works for more than 6 consecutive months or if he/she has at least 80% of attendance counting from the day of hiring.
  • The worker who does not have at least 80% attendance at work, the worker will not be entitled to vacation.
Accidents during Work – Compensation for absence from work
  • If the worker suffers an accident during work or needs hospital medical treatment due to illness caused at work, the employer must pay the worker for medical treatment according to the amount of the necessary expense, and must also reimburse the amount of expenses necessary for treatment.
  • After treatment, if the worker still has sequelae, the employer must indemnify, according to the degree of the sequel, the average salary value multiplied by the number of days (determined by law).
  • The limit of medical treatment, in relation to illnesses and medical treatment caused by reason of work, is determined by the Ministry of Health, Work and Social Welfare (Ministry of work).
  • To the worker who has an accident during work and cannot work or earn his salary during the period of medical treatment, the employer must pay the benefit of 60% of the basic daily amount.
  • It is prohibited to dispose of or agree on the right to receive compensation payments.
  • The dismissal of the worker will not change the right to receive severance pay.
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