Employee Benefits in Japan

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In Japan, employee benefits are of extreme importance because of fierce competition in the search for top talent. Japanese employees are picky when selecting employers and are always on the lookout for a place with the most generous benefits packages. Learn about some of those employee benefits in Japan, along with information about their leave laws.

The purpose of social insurance schemes is to secure the lives of all workers. This is done by paying income-based contributions when the employee becomes old, develops a disability, or dies. Any employer who owns a company or has hired five or more employees is legally bound to give his employees’ pension and health insurance.

Moreover, if any employee has an accident, the employer must pay compensation, as well as unemployment insurance. Social insurance and labor insurance schemes protect workers by cutting a part of their wage, while the employer contributes the rest. Regardless of whether he is a Japanese national or not, the employee will be insured if he is working.

Maternity Leave
Japanese workers who are pregnant are entitled to a maternity leave of 14 weeks: 6 weeks prenatal and 8 weeks postnatal. While leave usually starts 6 weeks before the expected date of childbirth, the worker may also request to start at 14 weeks before if she is expecting multiple births, thus increasing the overall period of maternity leave to 22 weeks. Employees can also request to work after 6 weeks of delivery, but only in light works.

However, if the woman wants to come back to work six weeks after childbirth, and the doctor has confirmed that she is at no risk and has allowed her to work, she can return to the company at any given point.
Furthermore, any employee, regardless of gender, who has been with the same employer for a year or more, can utilize the childcare leave if the child is below one year of age. However, this does not include those employees with fixed-term employment. Moreover, when the employee opts for maternity leave, the employer is under no obligation to keep paying them.

Sick Leave
There is no official law in Japan that allows workers to take a day off from work in case of sickness. That is why different organizations and employers come up with their own sick leave rules, which differ from one place to another. However, if the employee does not recover during the pre-decided sick leave period, their employment may be terminated. The Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act is responsible for compensation in case a worker falls sick during or receives an injury at work.

Every employee needs to register for Social Insurance when joining a new workplace. During this time, they also have to register with the Employee Pension system. This system provides a pension to those employees who have worked in Japan for at least twenty-five years and are sixty years old.
There is no set pay for pension as it depends on the individual’s career and work experience.

If you want to know more about the employee benefits and leave laws in Japan, click here

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