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Labor-related laws and regulations in Japan

This section explains Japanese labor-related laws and regulations which shall be applied to technical intern trainees from the time they start activities to acquire skills at accepting companies, after completing lectures conducted soon after their entry into Japan.

  1. Working hours, days off and leave
    1. Working hours and work breaks
      • Working hours are calculated by subtracting work break from on-duty hours from starting time to ending time. Commuting time is not included in working hours.
      • It is stipulated by law that working hours shall be a maximum of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Overwork in excess of statutory working hours is object of payment of extra wages.
      • Accepting companies must give technical intern trainees a work break during working hours as follows: at least a 45-minute work break in case working hours per day exceed six hours, and at least a one-hour work break in case working hours per day exceed eight hours.
      • In case busyness varies from season to season, accepting companies may adopt a variable working hour system after completing the designated procedures.
    2. Days off and leave
      • Accepting companies must give technical intern trainees at least one day off per week or four days off in a four-week period.
      • If technical intern trainees have reported for work at least 80% of the total working days during the first six months of their starting activities to acquire skills, annual paid leave of 10 days is granted to them. After that, annual paid leave will be added by one day for every year that they continue to work at the company. -7- 8 3) The aim of annual paid leave is to provide technical intern trainees with holidays in order to recover from physical and mental exhaustion. Therefore, technical intern trainees must not ask accepting companies to buy the said leave.
  2. Wages
    1. Five principles for payment of wages In order to ensure that wages are properly paid, the Labour Standards Law stipulates the following five principles for payment of wages.
      • Payment in currency Wages must be paid in currency (the Japanese yen).
      • Direct payment Wages must be paid directly to technical intern trainees.
      • Payment in full Wages must be paid in full.
      • Payment per month Wages must be paid at least once a month.
      • Payment at a definite date A payment date must be fixed and wages must be paid at a definite date.
    2. Transfer of wages into bank account Transfer of wages into bank account is possible as an exception to the principle of “payment in currency”, provided that a labor-management agreement on transfer of wages into bank accounts has been concluded at accepting companies, and that the following requirements are met.
      • With consent of technical intern trainees
      • Wages are transferred into deposit or savings account designated by the technical intern trainees.
      • The total amount of transferred wages can be withdrawn at a definite wage payment day.
    3. Items to be deducted from wages As exceptions from the principle of “payment in full”, the items shown below can be deducted from wages.
      • Income tax, residential tax, social insurance premiums and labor insurance premiums It is legally permitted in Japan to withhold income tax and residential tax at source or to deduct premiums for social and labor insurances from wages
      • Dormitory fees, utility fees In order to deduct these fees from wages, accepting companies must conclude a labor-management agreement on it. -8- 9
    4. Extra wages Accepting companies must pay extra wages increased by a specific percentage or more to technical intern trainees when they ordered them to work overtime, on days off or late at night.
      • Overtime work (exceeding the statutory working hours): Not less than 25% (in principle)
      • Night work (conducted between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.): Not less than 25%
      • Work on days off (work on statutory holidays): Not less than 35%
    5. Minimum wages In Japan, minimum wages are stipulated in the Minimum Wages Law and to pay wages less than minimum wages is an infringement of the Minimum Wages Law. There are two types of minimum wages as shown below. The regional minimum wages described in 1) below is revised in October every year.
      • Regional minimum wages Regional minimum wages are decided for each prefecture and they are applied to workers who work in each prefecture.
      • Specified (industrial) minimum wages They are applied to workers who engage in a specific industry in each prefecture.
  1. Safety and health, health care
    1. When technical intern trainees start activities to acquire skills after completion of lectures, accepting companies give educations for safety and health. Please make sure to receive educations and comply with the necessary matters.
    2. If you are going to engage in operations which cannot be conducted without a qualification or without completing special safety and health education (such as operation of cranes, slinging and forklifts), please make sure to obtain relevant license, to complete skills training or to receive special education before your engagement in said operation.
    3. For health management, a necessary medical examination is conducted when technical intern trainees are employed and regularly every year after that. Please make sure that you take medical examination.
  1. Labor insurance Workmen’s accident compensation insurance and employment insurance are collectively called labor insurance. If an accepting company employs at least a worker, it must take out labor insurance, except for a business employing only family members or relatives living together. An individual farmer who employs less than five workers is not required to take out labor insurance, but it is recommended to do so in order to prepare for employees’ injuries during farm work.
    1. Workmen’s accident compensation insurance Insurance money is provided for injuries, illness, death, etc. of workers in the course of business or commuting. An accepting company bears a full amount of insurance premium.
    2. Employment Insurance Necessary insurance money is paid when a technical intern trainee has lost employment or when it is impossible for accepting companies to continue employing technical intern trainees. An accepting company and technical intern trainee share insurance premium at a fixed percentage.

Retrieved from Japan International Training Cooperation Organization

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