[Employment Law-1] General Information

Environment surrounding workers from overseas

In recent years, I have been increasingly consulted by people from overseas living and working in Japan about employment issues.

It is surprising that many people do not know about the laws and regulations about employment in Japan. Obviously that is not a fault of them; the main reason would be that the employers do not explain the laws and regulations fully to foreign workers. Sometimes the employers themselves do not understand them which is also problematic.

Responding to this situation, in this blog, I will explain the very basic rules and regulations on employment issues in Japan in a series of 3 or 4 times. In particular, I would explain the following three issues which I think would be of great interest to workers from overseas.

  • Dismissal
  • Salary including overtime
  • Harassment

As I have experienced living and working overseas, I understand how people feel stressed if they have troubles overseas. If you have any issues/concerns on employment, please do not hesitate to contact me on the contact form.

General Infomation

1) Fundamental Laws and Regulations

We have many laws and regulations on the employment issues, which are collectively called “Employment Law” (労働法, Roudou Hou).

Among them, the fundamental laws and regulations which you should know are;

  1. Labour Standards Act (労働基準法, Roudou Kijyun Hou)
  2. Labour Contract Law (労働契約法, Roudou Keiyaku Hou)
  3. Minimum Wage Act (最低賃金法, Saitei Chingin Hou)
  4. Industrial Safety and Health Act (労働安全衛生法, Roudou Anzen Eisei Hou)
  5. Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act (労働者災害補償保険法, Roudou Saigai Hoshou Hoken Hou)
  6. Equal Employment Act (男女雇用機会均等法, Danjyo Koyoukikai Kintou Hou).

All these laws cannot be explained here but you have a very useful tool to basically understand them. This is “Working Conditions Handbook” published by the Labour Bureau. Please first take a look at this handbook.

2) Guidlines for Empolyers

We have also guidelines about employing foreign nationals. These are originally created for employers of foreign nationals but I think these are also of importance for them to know. Unfortunately, however, these guidelines are usually only available in Japanese at this moment. If you have specific issues I would advise you individually. The fundamental guideline is as follows.