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GU Home > GU News > ECC News - 1 Jan 2008

ECC Frequently Asked Questions

Dismissals/Non-renewals
Housing
Insurance Unemployment
Resignations
Taxes
Holidays - Annual Paid Leave
Holidays - National
Sick Leave



Dismissals/Non-renewals

Dismissals
Dismissals, mid-contract, are quite rare at ECC. If you are dismissed, ECC must provide at least 30 days notice or payment in lieu there of. The law does allow for dismissals without 30 days notice but only under exceptional circumstances. The ECC workcode lists a number of reasons people can be dismissed with 30 days notice. Beware, these do not all conform with the law. Contact your union rep immediately if you are dismissed.

Non-renewals
If you have concerns about your contract being non-renewed, contact your union rep for a consultation on 050-3618-3096 or email .



Housing

- Personal Experiences
- ECC Arranged Housing
- ECC as Guarantor
- Government Housing
- Housing Resources



Personal Experiences
I went through ECC when I first came to Japan. I got put in the Takatsuki house that so many Kansai ECCers have been through. I was paying 67,000 a month as were my two roommates for a three LDK. This was already way more than I would have to pay elsewhere in Takatsuki, but when I heard that we might be getting another roommate, turning the 3LDK to a 4DK I knew I needed to get out. I've since heard that there are now, in fact, four people crammed into the apartment. My heart goes out to them.



ECC Arranged Housing
ECC will arrange housing for employees. Going through them has some advantages, namely convenience. They handle all the necessary work with the landlords, you just show up and sign the contract. The landlord or a representative will even pick you up and take you to your new place. The main disadvantage with ECC arranged housing is cost. You are paying far above market value for your apartment, and are forced to sign a three month minimum contract, so you can't move out immediately. The convenience of arranged housing means it might be a good idea for someone coming to Japan for the first time, but it is often possible to find cheaper housing through the internet before you get here, and if you have a place to stay temporarily it is usually possible to find a less expensive place fairly quickly. In the end it's up to you: many people just start with the arranged housing and use the mandatory three months to find a new place to stay.



ECC As Guarantor
You are often required to have a guarantor (hoshonin) to move into new accommodation. In the past, ECC has been willing to act as guarantor in the Kansai area. However, ECC will no longer be guarantor, leaving teachers with limited accommodation options.



Government Housing
Another housing option that many people don't know about is Government Housing. Depending on what city, or prefecture, you reside in there may be 2 or 3 different types - City, Prefectural, and Housing & Urban Development Corporation.
These apartments are often cheaper than market price and come with the benefit of a relatively low deposit that is often fully refundable. A link for the UDC can be found found here. It provides access to offices Japan-wide, with details of locations and prices.

Government Housing Contact Details

Kyoto
- Housing and Urban Development Corporation Information Center (Jutaku Toshi Seibi Kodan Kyoto Annai-syo) - 075- 255-0499
- City Housing: Kyoto City Housing Service Company (Kyoto-shi Jutaku Service Kosha) - 075-681-0541
Prefectural Housing: Kyoto Prefecture Housing corporation (Kyoto-fu Jutaku Kyokyu Kosha) - 075-432-2011/2018

Kobe
Hyogo Prefectural government provide a “Housing and Residence Guide” in five foreign languages, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, & Portuguese. Contact the Kobe International Community Center at (078)291-8441. They will also be able to provide information about the various government housing schemes.

Osaka
Osaka Municipal Housing Corporation (Application Department) - TEL : 06-6882-7024 FAX : 6882-7021

Municipal Housing Telephone Service - (Recorded message in Japanese)
- TEL : 06-6945-0031
JHUD Housing Application Center
- Gate Tower Bldg., 5-4-21 Fukushima, Fukushima-ku, Osaka
- TEL : (06)6346-3456
Osaka Prefectural Housing Management Center Application Service Section
- TEL 06-4398-5255
Prefectural Housing Telephone Service
- TEL 06-6945-6000

Nagoya
Urban Renaissance Agency
- Application Center, Chubu Office, Housing and Urban Development Corp. 1 Fl., Showa Bldg. 4-3-26, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008
- Phone: 0120-86-3344
- Counseling is available at the counter of any office, at the HUD plaza, and at the Sumai-no Madoguchi counter.
Municipal Housing and Nagoya Municipal Housing Supply Corporation
- Sumai-no Madoguchi counter - Sakae Underground Shopping Mall
- 3-5-12 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008
- Phone: (052) 264-4682, 4683
Aichi Prefectural Housing and Aichi Prefectural Housing Supply Corporation-Nagoya Housing Management Office
- 5 Fl., Aichi Prefectural Housing Supply Corporation Bldg. 3-19-30
- Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-8566 Phone: (052) 973-1791

Nara
The Nara Prefectural Government website
- provides contact details and specific information about vacancies and the best time of year to apply.



Housing Resources - Kansai
The following links are provided but do not come with any recommendation or guarantee.
Classified Ads
- Kansai Flea Market
- Kansai Scene Classifieds
- Kyoto International Foundation Housing Search
- Get Hiroshima Classifieds
Gaijin Houses
- Osaka English House
- Banana/Orange House Osaka
- Green Peace Kyoto
- Ebisu's Kyoto
- Toji-an Kyoto
- ISE Dorm Kyoto
- Kyoto Cheapest Inn

Housing Vocabulary
Guarantor (Hoshonin):
A person who will take responsibility on behalf of the renter if any problems arise, for instance with regard to rent etc.
Deposit (Shiki-kin):
Generally equivalent to one to three months rent. Part of the deposit is returned at the end of the contract.
Key money (Rei-kin):
A non-refundable fee or ‘gift money' paid to the landlord.
Agent's fee (Tesuryo):
A fee of about one month' rent paid to the agent.



Insurance-Employment Insurance

Prior to 1998, ECC refused to enroll its employees in unemployment insurance as required by the Employment Insurance Law. This meant that if you were fired, or your contract was not renewed, you would be without income until your next job. In March 1998, the General Union won a commitment from ECC that it would enroll all eligible employees in the unemployment insurance scheme. Instructors at ECC now have a guaranteed income in the event that they are dismissed or non-renewed. In the event that you resign, there is a wait of around 3 months before you can receive unemployment insurance.

Both ECC and the employee make monthly contributions to the scheme, with your portion being around 2000 yen per month. Depending on your age and length of employment you are entitled to between 6290-7685 yen (August, 2009) per day for a period of 90-270 days. For those under 45 years of age and with less than 5 years in the scheme (majority of ECC instructors) you typically would be entitled to 90 days. This gives you breathing space to either help you find another job in Japan or decide to return to your home country.

Contact the General Union if you are not enrolled.



Resignations

How much notice do you need to give ECC to quit? Can you be fined for not completing the contract?
Article 55 (Resignation as Requested by Employee) of the ECC Work Code says "When employee wishes to resign for personal reasons, a request shall be made in writing to his/her supervisor at least two months in advance and receive approval from ECC for such request". We highly recommend that first year teachers give two months notice as required by the contract. Beyond the first contract, case law shows that it is generally not necessary and as little as two weeks notice is sufficient. Members should contact the union for more details.

ECC have in the past threatened to sue teachers for not giving 2 months notice but it has proven to be a hollow threat. We do recommend teachers give as much notice as possible. Just as the union expects ECC to play fair and follow the law, it is also reasonable for the company to expect teachers to play fair and follow their contracts.

It is illegal for any company to fine you for not completing a contract. Smaller employers will often try but ECC follows the law in this regard. If you resign, ECC cannot have your visa revoked but you should refer to your nearest immigration office for the most recent information.



Osaka Regional Immigration Bureau
大阪入国管理局 (おおさかにゅうこくかんりきょく)
(Language: English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
Address
大阪市住之江区南港北1−29−53
1-29-53 Nankou Kita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Pref. Post Code: 559-0034
Telephone
06-4703-2100
Hours
9:00〜16:00 - Closed Weekends and National Holidays

Kobe Immigration Information Centre
Address
Kaigan-dori Chuo-ku Kobe Hyogo 650-0024
Telephone
078-326-5141
Hours
9:00〜12:00 13:00〜16:00 - Monday to Friday

A more comprehensive list of Immigration Bureaus and Regional Centres can be found here.



Taxes

As required by law, city and national taxes are deducted from your salary. National income tax is usually around ¥5-8000 monthly. Generally speaking, city taxes will be deducted from your 2nd contract. This is approximately ¥10-15,000 monthly.



Holidays - Annual Paid Leave



The ALP system at ECC is quite confusing! If you are unsure of your ALP rights contact your union rep for a consultation on 050-3618-3096.



Holidays - National

ECC currently offers paid vacation on all National Holidays. This is not a requirement of Japanese labour law, but is common in many industries throughout the country. Many National Holidays occur on a Monday, meaning teachers who have Monday as one of their regular days off miss out on these holidays. There is currently no program for days-in-lieu to make up for these missed days.

Jan 01 New Year's Day.
Jan 12 Coming of Age day or Young Adults Day.
Feb 11 National Foundation Day.
Mar 20 Spring Equinox.
Apr 29 Nature Day.
May 03 Constitution Day.
May 04 People's Day.
May 05 Children's Day.
Jul 19 Day of the Sea or Marine Day.
Sep 20 Respect for the Elders Day.
Sep 23 Autumn Equinox.
Oct 11 School Sports Day.
Nov 03 Culture Day.
Nov 23 Labour Thanksgiving Day.
Dec 23 Emperor's Birthday.



Sick Leave

Japanese law has no provision for sick leave. Some companies do provide paid sick leave but ECC does not. At ECC employees may choose whether to use one of their days of annual paid leave (ALP's) or take an unpaid day of absence. This decision can be made prior to missing the day, or even after the day has already been missed. ECC prefers teachers to use an ALP, or it may affect your annual salary increase. For those of you who become ill and are under the care of a physician, and unable to work, Shakai Hoken (Employees' Health Insurance and Pension) provides about 66% of your salary for up to 18 months.



Shakai Hoken (Employees' Health and Pension) and You What you need to know


Click here to find out more about your health insurance and pension enrollment obligations.
Shakai Hoken is available to all 29.5 hour instructors click here for more details.



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