Japan labor law

Published February 2020.

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 by itself the working conditions related to salary and hours of work or other reasons.
  • The employer and the employee, will have to honestly fulfill each of their duties such as agreement agreement, labor regulation and employment contract.


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

Employment Contract

  • When signing an employment contract, the employer must clearly express the employee's working conditions, details such as salary, working hours (daily working hours), overtime and other items regarding working conditions. In this case, in addition to the item specifications referring to wages and hours of work, it is necessary to specify the other items that are determined by the Ministry of Labor (Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare).
  • The specifications must be detailed as determined by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare. If the work 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 due to resignation, wants to return to the previous residence within 14 days after the contract is canceled, the employer must pay all necessary expenses for moving back.

Prohibition of predetermined indemnity

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

Prohibition of deduction by advance

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

Restriction restrictions

  • According to the criteria of Article 65 of the Labor Standards Code, the employer may not dismiss the worker for 30 days after the last day of the Compensation Benefit for the days stopped by accident at work or pre and postpartum. But, according to the regulation of Article 81 if the employer pays severance compensation or causes dismissal due to natural calamity incidents (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 be applied).

Notice of dismissal

  • If the employer decides to dismiss the worker, he must give prior notice at least 30 days before. An employer who does not grant 30 days' notice must pay 30 days or more of the average salary (Payment of notice of dismissal). However, 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 the dismissal is the employee's responsibility, the early warning system for dismissal will not be applied. .

Dismissal Certificate

  • The dismissal certificate must contain the Period of work, Type of work, Position or function of the worker, Salary, and also the reason for dismissal. If the employee resigns, requires a certificate to be issued, the employer must issue it immediately.
  • The employer may not conspire in advance by talking to a third party referent, nationality, beliefs, social status of the worker or issue related to the union movement. The certificate may not even contain it.

Returning valuables

  • If the employee dies or due to resignation 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 under the worker's right.

Payment of salary

  • 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 deduction from wages such as rent, meals and others, they can be deducted from the wages provided that 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, except for extraordinary salaries such as bonuses, allowances and others, which are not mandatory payments as determined by the Law of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare (Ministry of Labor) Article 89 of the Labor Law Code).

Work suspension compensation

  • In the case of suspension of work activities due to the employer's circumstances, if a break 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 average worker remuneration.


  • With the exception of the rest hour, the employer may not order the worker to work more than 40 hours a week.
  • With the exception of the hour of rest, the employer may not order the worker to work more than 8 hours a day.

Rest and Break

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

Day off

  • The employer must provide the worker with at least one rest day per week (Labor Standards Law).
Working on off days and overtime
  • Agreement 36 (overtime agreement 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 submit this agreement signed to the Labor Standards Inspection Station and as determined by this union agreement, it may cause the work outside the hours (overtime), or work on rest days. However, work activities designated as harmful to health by the Ministry of Health, Work and Social Welfare such as work in mines should not extend working hours by more than 2 hours a day.
  • According to the regulation, if the employer exceeds the working hours established by law or does work on days off (overtime), the employer must calculate and pay the 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 pm to 00 am, he must calculate and pay 5% of extra remuneration on normal wages.
  • In certain cases, if the worker has to perform part or all of the service outside the company, and the calculation of hours worked is difficult to be calculated, in this case, it 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 for carrying out the work will be considered as determined by ministerial order. (Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare).

Paid annual leave

  • The employer must grant an annual paid vacation corresponding to 10 days to the worker who works more than 6 consecutive months or if he has at least 80% of attendance counting from the day of hire.
  • The worker who does not have at least 80% attendance at work, the worker will not be entitled to vacation.
Accidents at Work - Compensation absence from work
  • If the worker suffers an accident while on the job or needs hospital medical treatment for illness caused at work, the employer must pay medical treatment to the worker 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 a sequel, the employer must compensate, according to the degree of the sequel, the value of the average salary multiplied by the number of days (determined by law).
  • The limit of medical treatment in relation to illnesses and medical treatment caused by reasons of work is determined by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare (Ministry of Labor).
  • To the worker who has an accident at 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 make an agreement with the right to receive the payment of the indemnity.
  • The dismissal of the worker will not alter the right to receive the payment of severance pay.

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