The statutory minimum number of paid vacation days per year, in addition to the company holidays, are:
Usually, the full entitlement of annual leave for a given year is granted (received) on either the annual anniversary of employment or on a standard day each year that applies to all employees.
Following the entry into force of the special rules applicable to willing high-level professionals on 1 April, 2019, qualifying employees will have to take holidays of no less than 104 days and no less than four days every four weeks. Their employers must grant them at least one holiday (two weeks in a row) every year and other prescribed health support.
In general, there are no sick leave rights in Japan. When employees get sick, they use their paid vacation to take leave of absence. Some foreign companies grant sick leave to their employees as a special benefit. There’s no requirement to grant sick leave unless the work rules or employment contract state otherwise. Employees who are absent from work due to non-work-related sickness or injury are not entitled to pay from their employer.
Employees are covered by workers’ accident insurance in the cases of injury, illness, disability or death resulting from employment. In the case of work-related accidents, there are a number of benefits available. Under employees’ health insurance coverage, employees are entitled to two-thirds of the applicable standard wage (calculated according to a specific formula) as illness/injury allowance after three days of absence for 18 months.
However, if the employer offers the employee any wages during this period, the allowance will be reduced by the amount received.
Dismissal is rarely an immediate option, and work rules often include a suspension period (e.g., from three to six months) during which the employee needs not perform their duties but maintains a contractual relationship with the employer. If the employee recovers during this period and can return to work, they’ll be reinstated. If the employee doesn’t recover within this period, the employer can give notice of termination. Various rules can be adopted in this respect, and the duration and reasons for suspension will vary.
- Before birth: Maternity leave of six weeks before childbirth or within fourteen weeks in the case of two or more expected children must be granted to expecting mothers.
- After birth: Employees cannot work before eight weeks have passed since childbirth. However, once six weeks have passed since childbirth, an employee can submit a request to work, and the employer can allow them to perform duties that are approved by a doctor.
It’s not mandatory to pay an employee during maternity leave. If no wages are paid, the
employee is paid two-thirds of their base wage from her health insurance.
Employers are prohibited by equal opportunity laws from treating a female employee disadvantageously because of maternity leave. Therefore, employees can resume the same job on the same working conditions after maternity leave.
There’s no statutory requirement for paternity leave at present.
An employee that’s raising a child (biological or adopted) less than one year old and willing to continue to work after childcare leave must be allowed to take parental leave until the child reaches one year of age. If both the father and mother take childcare leave, the leave period is extended until the child reaches one year and two months.
The leave period may be extended until the child reaches two years if:
- The employee wants to register with day care but is unable to, or
- If the employee’s spouse that was looking after the child and was planning to continue to do so after the child turns one year old cannot do so due to their death, injury or illness
It’s not mandatory to pay the employee during childcare leave. If no wages are paid or only a partial wage below 80% of the base wage is paid, the employee will be paid from half to two-thirds of their base wage from their unemployment insurance.
Nursing care leave
It’s not mandatory to pay the employee during nursing care leave. If no wages are paid or only a partial wage below 80% of the base wage is paid, the employee is paid 40–80% of the base pay from their unemployment insurance.
It’s common to give leave for marriage, death of a relative, etc. These would be defined in the rules of employment.