Yukyu – Paid Vacations

Paid vacation which is popularly known as Yukyu (paid annual time off), is also called Nenkyu or Nenji Yukyu Kyukae, is a guaranteed right to workers (Article 39 of Japanese Labor Law). Regardless of the type of contract, whether you are Seishain (effective employee) or part time (part time), regardless of whether you are enrolled in Social Security (Shakai Hoken), ie, every worker is entitled to Yukyu.

To be entitled to this benefit

  • It is necessary to work more than 6 continuous months (including the probationary period), with a frequency greater than 80% of the total number of working days.
  • Paid vacations are granted to the worker, as long as they are requested from the employer in advance. It is necessary for the employee to give written notice (requested paid time letter), indicating the period during which they would like to take time off. In principle, the employer cannot restrict this right or deny the request, but as long as it does not interfere with the progress of the work (for example, during peak production). If the rest days requested by the worker coincide with work overload dates, even interfering with the progress of production, the employer may ask him to change the period of days off. In this case, there must be an agreement between them.

Vacation proportional to working time

  • It is necessary to have more than 6 months of continuous work and more than 80% of the frequency of work in the total working days, he can receive 10 days of paid vacation. Thereafter, vacations are increased by 1 day each year, for a period of up to 2 years and 6 months. From 3 years and 6 months onwards, 2 more days are added each year.
Service time6 months1 year and
6 months
2 year and
6 months
3 year and
6 months
4 year and
6 months
5 year and
6 months
6 year and
6 months
Vacation days10 days11 days12 days14 days16 days18 days20 days
  • Paid vacations are cumulative for a maximum of 2 years. After 2 years, the worker loses the right (Article 115 of the Japanese Labor Law), counting from the date of admission to the company.
  • The worker must take paid vacations before leaving the company, because, after leaving, he/she loses the right to request them.
  • Yukyu cannot be traded (sold or bought if the worker does not want to use them).
  • In case of dismissal, the worker and the employer can make an agreement, negotiating the sale of unused paid vacation. This agreement, however, is an informal arrangement between the parties, not a legal requirement.
  • Disadvantageous treatment due to paid vacation is prohibited by law. The employer is not authorized to reduce wages, apply penalties or other disadvantageous treatment to the employee due to vacations.

Calculation of paid vacation value

  • The law determines that the minimum amount, for the Yukyu, is the full payment of the daily salary value determined in the employment contract.
  • For those who always work overtime and have higher salaries per day, the calculation must be done according to the average daily salary, obtained through the sum of the salaries of the last 3 months, divided by the number of days in the quarter.
  • It is not allowed by law to pay less than the daily salary value determined in the employment contract.

If the employer refuses to grant the Yukyu (vacation)

  • If the employer refuses to grant the yukyu or in the event of termination (holiday sale), does not pay for days off, file a complaint with the Labor Standards Inspection Agency (Roudou Kijun kanto kusho).

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