Consultation contents

The working style will change (Beginning April, 2019)

Answer

Regulation on the maximum limit of overtime work will be introduced! (Small-to-medium sized enterprises will start from April 1, 2020)

As a general rule, the maximum limit on overtime work will be 45 hours per month, 360 hours per year. Even in cases that involve special circumstances, there is a need to set a limit of 720 hours a year, less than 100 hours a month (including work on holidays), and multiple monthly average of 80 hours (including work on holidays).

It is necessary to ensure the acquisition of annual paid leave!

In principle, annual paid leave is given at the time of the worker’s request, but due to considerations involving the workplace, etc., there is a low acquisition rate under the existing circumstances. For this reason, it is necessary for the employers of all companies to specify the period when a worker, who is granted 10 days or more of annual paid leave per year, may acquire 5 days out of the number of days of their annual paid leave and have the worker use that leave. For workers who have acquired 5 days or more of annual paid leave, the employer does not need to specify the period of acquisition of the annual paid leave.
☛Paid leave depends on the number of years of service. A request when the leave is intended to be used is made by the worker to his employer.

Consultation contents

Be informed on the new rules on dispatch labor and make use of them in your employment!

Answer

■ Restrictions on the period for receiving worker dispatching services and the obligation to apply for labor contract.

With the exception of some enterprises, there is a maximum limit of 3 years in the period during which dispatch workers (haken rodosha) can work at a client company (haken saki). In cases such as having the dispatch workers perform duties beyond the limited period, the client company must make a request to the dispatch workers to sign a labor contract.
With the revision of the Worker Dispatch Law in 2015, working on the same job at the same establishment as a dispatch (temporary) worker for more than three years is basically not allowed. After going through certain procedures, working for more than 3 years is possible, but you are required to move to a different "section". Since September 2018, if a worker is being considered to be dispatched to the same “section” of the same establishment continuously for 3 years, it is possible to receive the employment stabilization measures (obligation) stated below from the dispatching agency operator (haken gaisha).
Those who are expected to be dispatched for more than a year but less than 3 years are subject to the obligation to exert reasonable efforts. ”Dispatch workers who are employed on an indefinite term at the client company” and “dispatch workers over 60 years old”, etc., are not covered by employment stabilization measures.

Who are eligible: Dispatch workers who concluded or renewed their contracts after September 30, 2015.

    
△ Employment Stabilization Measures (Obligations)

The dispatching agency operator needs to take any of the following measures from 1. to 4. In addition, when 1. fails to lead to direct employment, it is necessary to choose from one of the measures from 2. to 4..

  1. Request for direct employment to the client company (if the company agrees to the request, the dispatched worker becomes their employee)
  2. Provide new employment opportunities (dispatch destination) (The conditions are limited to reasonable items in light of competence and experience of the dispatch worker)
  3. Offer indefinite employment (mukikoyou) in the dispatching agency other than as dispatched workers.
  4. Other measures to stabilize employment
Attention!
  • To be eligible for employment stabilization, it is necessary for the worker to make a request to the dispatching agency operator for the continuation of his/her employment even after the dispatch period. The worker may request for any of the employment stabilization measures from 1 to 4 to the dispatching agency operator.
  • In cases, such as when the client company engages the dispatched workers in prohibited categories of work (port transport services, construction work, security services, medical related services), or accepts them in violation of the restricted period, it will be considered that a labor contract has been offered to these dispatched workers.
■Measures to promote conversion to indefinite employment (mukikoyou)

Applications for indefinite employment have also begun from April, 2018. Fixed term labor contracts from April, 2013 or later, when repeatedly renewed and exceeds a total of 5 years, can be converted into indefinite employment contract from the next contract, through the application of the worker. (Refer to Mimitaro No. 126 for details)

Labor Consultation Desk
Shiga Labor Bureau・General Consultation on Labor  Tel. 077-522-6648 (Japanese)
  4th flr. Shiga Labor Joint Government Office Building, 14-15 Uchidehama, Otsu City, Shiga-ken
“Telephone Consultation Service for Foreign Workers” 10:00 to 15:00
  • English (Mon to Fri)   Tel. 0570-001701
  • Chinese (Mon to Fri)   Tel. 0570-001702
  • Portuguese (Mon to Fri)  Tel. 0570-001703
  • Spanish (Tue, Thu, Fri)   Tel. 0570-001704
  • Tagalog (Tue, Wed)   Tel. 0570-001705

Consultation contents

Let’s check out the following upon employment!

Answer

The dispatching agency must clearly indicate labor conditions when labor contracts are concluded, must clearly state the amount of dispatching fee when dispatch employment starts, and clearly specify employment conditions.

■ Let's make sure that we are covered by social insurance ! (shakai hoken)

We can receive sickness and injury allowance, childbirth allowance, child care leave benefit, family care leave benefit, etc., by subscribing to social insurance, if certain conditions are satisfied.

△ Prerequisites for social insurance coverage

Those whose work falls under these categories: ① corporate office (corporation, limited company, etc.) or ② individual establishment with 5 or more employees (excluding restaurant business, hair-cutting and hairdressing business, etc.), and those who are regularly employed here will be eligible for employees’ welfare pension insurance and health insurance.

  • A part-timer or arubaito, who is in the same work as a regular employee, with prescribed working hours, as well as 3/4 or more working days, is eligible for insurance.
  • Even when working days are less than 3/4 of regular employees, as mentioned above, those who satisfy all of the following 5 requirements become insured:
  • ① A predetermined working time of 20 hours or more per week ② The duration of service is expected to be one year or more ③ Monthly wage of ¥88,000 or more ④ Not a student ⑤ Works for a company with 501 or more employees (those working for companies with less than 501 employees may also be insured if the company operates based on the agreement between labor and management.)

Inquiries on Employees’ Pension Insurance (kosei nenkin hoken) & Health Insurance (kenko hoken) coverage

Tel. 0570-007-123 or 03-6837-2913 (multilingual)

■ Avail of Annual Paid Leave (nenji yukyu kyuka), Child Care Leave (ikuji kyugyo), and Family Care Leave (kaigo kyugyo)

Labor laws, such as Labor Standards Act and Equal Employment Opportunity Law, are applicable even in dispatched labor.

△Annual Paid Leave

Employees are entitled to the right to take a leave with pay.

  • Employers must grant 10 days paid leave to employees who worked for six consecutive months from the time of hiring and who worked on not less than 80 per cent of all schedule work days. From then on, it will be given yearly according to the length of service. This number of days is for those who work 5 days a week or 30 hours a week or more. Even if you are a part-time worker or arubaito, you will be given annual leave according to the number of working days and hours.
  • Annual leave may not be kept in reserve. The right to annual paid leave expires after 2 years.
  • If employment relationship ends due to retirement or dismissal of workers, the right to claim paid holiday will cease.
  • In principle, it is illegal to convert unused paid holidays into cash.
△Child Care Leave・Family Care Leave

If certain conditions are met, even part-timers and arubaito may take child care leave and family care leave.

  • Child care leave In principle, a worker may acquire this leave to take care of children less than 1 year of age.
    May be taken under the following conditions: Employment for one year or more under the same employer. It is not clear if the labor contract term will expire until the child reaches 1 year and 6 months.
  • Family care leave A leave for workers to be able to care for family members in care-requiring condition. Family care leave may be taken partially, up to a total of 93 days per eligible family member, up to 3 times as the maximum limit.
    May be taken under the following conditions: Employment for one year or more under the same employer. It is not clear if the labor contract term will expire until the succeeding 6 months, after 93 days counting from the start of the planned date of family care leave.

Consultation contents

Engaging in agriculture

Answer

For those who want to work in agriculture

Make the necessary preparations by taking the following steps first!       

1. Gather information

  • Consult at the Farming Consultation Desk (syuunou soudan madoguchi):
  • 2nd flr. Shiga Prefecture Agricultural Education Information Center
     1-2-20 Matsumoto, Otsu City
      ℡ 077-523-5505 
  • Participate in agricultural events and seminars

2. Experience hands-on farming

  Participate in agricultural internship (1 to 6 weeks)

3. Acquire skills

  • Study at the Shiga Prefectural Agricultural College (1-year course or 2-year course)
  • Undergo training from farmers practicing advanced agriculture and from agricultural corporations
Human Resources Fostering Fund for Next Generation Farmers (nougyou jisedai ninaite ikusei kikin)

A system granting 1.5 million yen annually for a maximum of 2 years to those aiming to become future farmers who will undergo training on advanced farming from agricultural instructors certified by the prefecture, etc., and prefectural agricultural colleges. (Conditions may apply.)

4. Make the preparations

To engage in agriculture, one method is to be employed in an agricultural corporation or to work for a farmer, while the other is to be on a self-employed basis. There are some who become self-employed farmers after working in agricultural corporations, etc.

1) Those who will work in agricultural corporations, etc. :Look for job placements at Hello Work, “Shiga Prefecture Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Owners’ Fostering Fund”, or search for employers in agricultural corporation websites, etc.
2) Those who will be self-employed:In addition to “technical skills”, it is also necessary to prepare “funds” and “agricultural land”.

▲Secure the necessary funds To start in agriculture, you need initial investment funds (agricultural land lease fee, machineries, facilities, etc.), working capital (such as fertilizers, pesticides, expenses for lighting and fuel), and you must have a fund for your own living expenses.

Farming Fund for Youths (seinentou syuunou shikin)

A system that lends funds without interest to those who are accredited as certified new farmers embarking in agriculture. (Conditions may apply.)

▲Secure the agricultural land Buying, selling and leasing of agricultural lands are managed from the perspective of maintaining the rate of self-sufficiency in food throughout the country, etc. and agricultural lands are secured in the following ways:

  • The procedure for acquiring the right to a land takes place after an examination by the agricultural committee of cities and towns.
  • *There are also measures for taking over an agricultural land with no successor.
  • Notify the intention to buy, sell or lease an agricultural land at the agricultural administrative division of cities and towns, and acquire the right through a public notice by the Agricultural Land Utilization Accumulation Plan.
  • Apply to borrow a farmland mediated by the Shiga Prefecture Agricultural Land Intermediary Management Organization

Consultation contents

New Rules for Fixed Term Employment Contract

Answer

A new rule regulating fixed-term employment contracts will begin this year in April. Let’s use it as a reference in choosing our working scheme. The new rule includes anyone working on a fixed-term employment contract such as part-time workers, employees with “side”jobs or arubaito, dispatched workers (haken shain), contract workers (keiyaku shain), or special contract employees (shokutaku or non-regular staff).
*For dispatched workers: The labor contract concluded with their dispatching agencies (temporary staff recruitment agency) are subject to this.
Ⅰ Conversion to Indefinite Term Employment Contract (muki roudou keiyaku)
  When a fixed-term employment contract is repeatedly renewed between the same employer and employee and exceeds a total of five years, it can be converted into an employment contract without a definite period (indefinite term employment contract) upon the request of the employee.
  • The calculation of the total contract period includes fixed term employment contracts concluded on and after April 1, 2013. However, in cases where there is a consecutive period exceeding 6 months during which no employment contract was executed (or, in the case where the contract period is less than one year, one-half or more thereof), prior contract periods are excluded from the calculation of the total contract period.
  • A request for indefinite term employment contract may be made anytime within the term of the signed contract exceeding a total of 5 years. This request is already deemed valid at the time of application. The conversion to indefinite term contract commences from the day immediately following the expiration date of the fixed-term employment contract at the time of application.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the working conditions of the converted indefinite term employment contract (company regulations, individual labor contracts) shall be the same as that of the pre-existing fixed-term employment contract.
Ⅱ Adoption of “Regulations on Termination of Employment” (yatoi dome)
In some cases, the law has stipulated rules that do not allow employers to terminate employment. When the employer refuses to renew the fixed-term employment contract, employment is terminated upon expiration of contract period.
However, this is invalid in the following ① and ② in the recent provisions made in the labor contract law:
    ① When the fixed-term employment contract has been repeatedly renewed in the past, and refusing to renew the fixed-term employment contract upon its expiration would be, in general social norms, equivalent to dismissal of an indefinite term contract.
    ② When there are existing reasonable grounds upon which the employee would expect his/her fixed-term employment contract to be renewed upon its expiration.
* A request for renewal of fixed-term employment contract from the employee is required, moreover, it is necessary for the employee to “refuse” the termination of his/her contract or convey disagreement in any other way, for this rule to be effective.
Ⅲ Prohibition of Unreasonable Working Conditions
The imposition of unreasonable differences in working conditions between fixed-term and indefinite term contract employees due to the existence of a definite period of employment, is prohibited.
* For consultations: Shiga Labor Bureau・Employment Condition and Equality Office Tel. 077-522-6648

Consultation contents

Childcare Leave and Family Care Leave of Fixed-term Contract Employees

Answer

As a general rule, childcare leave and family care leave may be used while receiving a benefit of 67% of the wage from the day the leave commences from the employment insurance, if conditions were satisfied.
Fixed term contract employees are likewise eligible if the following requirements are met.

Requirements for Childcare and Family Care Leave for Fixed-term Contract Employees:
Childcare Leave (ikuji kyuugyou)
    ①At least one year of continued period of employment by the same employer.
    ②It is not clear if the employment contract will be terminated until the child reaches 1yr. and 6 months.
Family Care Leave (kaigo kyuugyou)
    ①At least one year of continued period of employment by the same employer.
    ②It is not clear if the labor contract term will expire and will not be renewed until the succeeding 6 months, after 93 days counting from the start of the planned date of family care leave.
! The period for childcare leave is extended: Basically, childcare leave which expires until the child is one year old can be extended to another 6 months, but when the child cannot enter a day-care center, or due to other reasons, the leave may now be extended until the child reaches 2 years of age. (In this case, childcare leave benefits (ikuji kyuugyou kyuufukin) may likewise be availed of until the child reaches the age of 2).

Consultation contents

Job Hunting

Answer

Foreigners who are allowed to work in Japan may receive job referrals in the same way as Japanese job seekers.
Public Employment Security Office (Hello Work)
The national agency responsible for giving job referrals and consultations regarding employment is the Public Employment Security Office (Hello Work). Various consultations are carried out, such as those regarding important regulations when entering into a contract upon employment, employment insurance, etc.

Consultation contents

Labor-related laws and regulations in Japan (What employers are required to observe)

Answer

Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of nationality.
Employers are prohibited to discriminate on the basis of nationality, creed, or social status, and are required to treat all employees equally in terms of wages, working hours and other working conditions. (Article 3 of the Labor Standards Law)
Explicit presentation of working conditions
Employers are required to explicitly present working conditions such as wages and working hours to employees when an employment contract is to be signed. Specifically, terms concerning wages must be clearly presented in writing. (Article 15 of the Labor Standards Law)
Employers are also required to provide foreign employees with written details of wages, working hours and other important working conditions (notification of employment) in language understandable to the employee when employing them.
Prohibition of forced labor and intermediary exploitation
Employers are prohibited to use violence or make threats to force employees to work against their will. Employers are also prohibited to gain profits by helping someone find a job unless permitted to engage in job placement service under law.
Prohibition of scheduled penalty fee and recompense
Employers are prohibited to draw up an employment contract that includes any clauses stipulating that the employee must pay a predetermined penalty fee or compensate the employer for breach of contract such as early resignation before the term of the contract expires. (Article 16 of the Labor Standards Law)
Prohibition of dismissal during medical treatment of occupational injury or illness
Employers are prohibited to dismiss an employee who is taking leave of absence due to treatment of occupational injury or illness, and within thirty days after the period of such leave. (Article 19 of the Labor Standards Law)
Prior notice of dismissal
To dismiss an employee, the employer must give the employee at least thirty (30) days prior notice. If the employer fails to give 30 days’ notice, the employer must pay the employee a dismissal allowance in the amount equal to the average daily wage multiplied by the number of remaining days up to 30 days before the dismissal. However, this rule does not apply in the case of a natural disaster or other incident beyond control of the employer, which renders the company unable to continue business, or in the case where the employee is responsible for dismissal. In these instances, the approval of the superintendent of the Labor Standards Inspection Office is necessary. (Articles 20 and 21 of the Labor Standards Law)
Payment of wages
Wages must be paid directly to the employee in Japanese yen, in the full amount, at least once a month on a fixed date. However, the employer is authorized to deduct a specified amount from the wages. Allowable deductions are those determined by law, such as withholding tax and unemployment insurance premium, and other deductions specified in the union-management agreement, such as union dues. (Article 24 of the Labor Standards Law)
Minimum wages
Wages paid to employees by an employer must not be lower than the minimum wage defined by law. Minimum wages are set for each region and each industrial category. (Minimum Wage Law)
Working hours and rest days
The legal working hours are limited to eight hours per day and 40 hours per week, except in some work places in certain business categories that are granted 46 working hours per week. (Articles 32 and 40 of the Labor Standards Law) A legal rest day must be provided at least once a week or four times in every four weeks. (Article 35 of the Labor Standards Law)
Extra pay for overtime, rest day and night work
Employers must complete certain legal procedures to have employees work beyond legal working hours or on rest days. (Article 36 of the Labor Standards Law) Employees who work beyond legal working hours are eligible for extra pay of more than 25% above the normal hourly or daily wages, and for work on rest days, a rate of 35% is applicable. Also, employees who work between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. may receive extra pay of more than 25% above normal wages. (Article 37 of the Labor Standards Law)
Annual leave with pay
Employers are required to grant annual leave with pay to employees who have been employed for six consecutive months and present at work for more than 80% of those working days. (Article 39 of the Labor Standards Law)
Return of belongings
Foreigners living in Japan are required to carry their passport or Certificate of Alien Registration at all times (Article 23 of the Immigration Control Law) and employers are not to hold employees’ passport, etc. At the resignation of an employee, the employer must pay wages or return articles to which the employee is entitled within seven days upon the employee’s request. (Article 23 of the Labor Standards Law)
Occupational safety and health
Employers are required to take appropriate measures to ensure safety and health of employees at the workplace. Such measures include educating employees on safety and health matters (particularly at the time of taking up employment), offering medical check-ups, and preventing danger and physical damage. (Industrial Safety and Health Law)

Consultation contents

Resignation

Answer

Resignation for a personal reason
Employees are recommended to peruse the work regulations and have a good understanding of the procedures needed for resignation in advance. Article 627 of the Japanese civil law stipulates that an employment contract, which does not specify the term of employment, shall, in principle, be terminated two weeks after submission of a notice of resignation by the resigning employee. However, sudden notice of resignation by an employee can cause difficulties for the company and colleagues who have to take over his or her work. Desirably, the employee and the company should consult with each other to decide the date of resignation and other related matters.  
Dismissal by the employer
To dismiss an employee, the employer must give notice of dismissal not later than thirty (30) days prior to the dismissal. If the employer fails to give the 30 days’ notice, the employer must pay the employee the dismissal allowance in the amount equal to the average daily wage multiplied by the number of remaining days up to 30 days before the dismissal. (Articles 20 and 21 of the Labor Standards Act)

Consultation contents

Consultation on Labor Issues

Answer

In case of labor-related problems, consult the Labor Standards Inspection Office below. (If available, please bring the following: labor contract, employment regulations, pay slip, etc.)
厚生労働省 外国人労働者向け情報(多言語)

Consultation contents

Trainees and Technical Interns

Answer

OTIT Organization for Technical Intern Training for Foreigners Native language consultations
Tel 0120-250-147(英語 English)
Tel 0120-250-169 (中国語 中文)
Tel 0120-250-197(タガログ語 Tagalog) 等々
Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO) Technical interns, Native language consultation hot line for trainees 
Tel 0120-022332/ 03-4306-1111

Consultation contents

Occupational accident

Answer

Foreign workers (including “illegal workers” as defined in the Immigration Control Law) are also eligible for medical expenses, temporary disability compensation benefits, physical handicap compensation benefits, and other benefits, paid under the Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance in case of job-related injury, illness, death, or an accident on the way to or from work. Employers are required to enroll their employees in this insurance if they employ one or more employees, whether part-time or regular. Also, employers are required to pay all insurance premiums for their employees. For details, inquire at the Labor Standards Inspection Office.

Consultation contents

Unemployment Insurance

Answer

Unemployment insurance aims to ensure stabilized employment and provide unemployed persons with benefits to financially support them while looking for another job. The unemployment benefits are funded by the insurance premiums paid by workers and employers. Foreign workers (including stateless persons) who are employed in Japan are covered by the unemployment insurance through their employer regardless of their nationality, unless their enrollment in any foreign unemployment insurance program is proven. Workers who leave their job for personal reasons or as a result of dismissal and who meet the following conditions are eligible for the basic allowance, upon approval of the public employment security office.
  • Those with a visa status that carries no restrictions on employment activities in Japan and with permission to be repeatedly employed in Japan.
  • A member of the scheme for at least 12 months within a 2-year period prior to separation from work. (On account of dismissal or company bankruptcy, a member of the scheme for at least 6 months within a 1-year period prior to separation from work)
  • Those with proof of loss of insurance eligibility as a result of leaving their job.
  • Those who wish to work but cannot find a job.
※For details, inquire at your local public employment security office.
Guide for receiving unemployment insurance benefits