Something To Hide? Amity Refuses To Provide Copies Of Time-Cards

As a union, we recommend all workers keep accurate records of actual working hours - including copies of time cards if they are required to punch in.

People new to the country may not realize the necessity of doing this - especially at Amity, which operates a system that is reliant upon people working overtime (and this is particularly true in the case of new teachers).


Preparation time can be especially daunting for new Amity teachers who may find it very difficult to do the job unless they perform overtime (and make no mistake: Amity expects you to put in the overtime, even though much of this overtime is unpaid).

However, unlike in many of our own home countries, working overtime is (in most cases) up to the employee to agree to. You have a right to refuse and it cannot be forced upon you.

Usually, however, Amity employees rightly feel responsible to fully prepare for their lessons, and put in the extra overtime, only to find they are not fully compensated for their diligence.

One teacher, upon recently finishing with Amity, requested copies of his time-cards.

For the entire time that he was employed at the company, he was never paid overtime. He is requesting it now.

However, Amity has refused to provide copies of the time-cards as they are not required to do so by law.

While this may be true, we can't help but wonder what Amity has to hide. If they haven't done anything illegal, they should not be concerned with providing the copies.

Here is part of the company's reply:

"As a company, we do take concern with unpaid overtime seriously.

Therefore, your time records will be reviewed for each month of your employment, although you did not submit an overtime report for each pay period while employed by the company.

The company requests employees to submit the overtime report for each pay period while employed with the company.

The company requests employees to submit the overtime report each pay period, as we cannot verify, simply from the time records, that work-related tasks were completed outside the standard work time hours.

This is the reasoning behind the protocol for requesting and filing for any work that is necessary outside of the standard work time hours by both the teacher and manager.

Additionally, the Non-Standard Work Time Allowance policy provides teachers with a monthly allowance of 20,000 yen as outlined in the Policy Manual Addendum and the Contract of Employment.

We have provided a scanned copy of your Contract of Employment, the Policy Manual Addendum with your signature which serves as your acknowledgment of the Non-Standard Work Allowance policy and the company definition of our overtime policy."

 


In their reply, the company states that the teacher never submitted an overtime report. This is true, and it should have been done.

However, what Amity fails to admit is that the company, despite the report not being filed, has a duty to examine time records each month and pay overtime according to the law.

By not doing so, Amity is breaking the law.

The reply then goes on to discuss a "Fixed Non-Standard Work Time Allowance", which they seem to think resolves the issue of overtime payment by virtue of simply existing.

It does not. Japanese law does not allow such allowances for regular workers.

In the cases of some types of managers, an allowance can be (under)paid to cover all overtime, but it is not allowed in the case of teachers.

Every minute of overtime must be paid for.

The company's reply then goes on to try and intimidate the worker by providing copies of his contract and drawing attention to policies that he agreed to.

Enough with the intimidation tactics, Amity. As you are aware, by law, if an employee is working overtime, it must be paid for; and if the company believes the worker is staying late and not really working, it is the company's responsibility to tell the worker to go home.

We all know the reality though: the overtime is taking place, and the company it wants it to happen too.

They just don't want to pay for it.

We urge more Amity teachers to take up this and other issues at Amity. Now is the time for change.

Contact us at union(@)generalunion.org

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