Notice Of Resignation - The Truth

"I've just received my tax and health insurance bills. I need more money and I've found a job paying more. I signed a one-year contract, but I'm only six months into it.  How much notice do I have to give my company before I can quit?"

"The company lied to me about a lot of things in my job interview. They are paying me less money in the summer. I only get 5 days holidays. I'm really unhappy. I want to quit."

"There's no support here. I'm not adjusting to life in Japan. It's time to go home. They want to fine me for not finishing my contract."

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HOW MUCH NOTICE DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOUR COMPANY BEFORE YOU RESIGN?

In their contracts, many companies dishonestly claim that an employee "may terminate this contract by giving thirty (30) calendar days' prior notice to Employer".

This isn't true.

Under the OFFER TO TERMINATE EMPLOYMENT WITH INDEFINITE TERM section of the CIVIL CODE, ARTICLE 627 states:


"(1) If the parties have not specified the term of employment, either party may request to terminate at any time. In such cases, employment shall terminate on the expiration of two weeks from the day of the request to terminate."


The key terminology here is "INDEFINITE TERM". Most foreigners in Japan though are not on indefinite term contracts.

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APPLYING THE LAW

During the first year of a one-year renewed contract , an employee can resign by following the conditions agreed upon when the contract was made.

In such a case, a 30, or even 60 day requirement would be valid for that first year.

If you don't follow these rules, your company has a theoretical claim against you but can only act on this by using civil court procedures.

Contact us for more information on this.

After the first year of a one-year renewed contract, however, just two weeks of notice is sufficient. In addition, the employee does not have to provide a reason for their resignation.

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TALKING WITH YOUR COMPANY

Armed with the knowledge from this article, you decide that you want to leave your current job.

The CIVIL CODE is clear, and you are in the second year of your contract.

You walk into the branch office and give the branch staff your two weeks of notice.

The school manager tells you that you have to give them thirty days of notice.

You tell them that the CIVIL CODE states that you only have to give them two weeks of notice.

The branch manager says that the contract that you signed states that you have to give them thirty days of notice.

You reiterate the the law says that you only have to give them two weeks of notice.

The manager repeats that the contract says "thirty days", so they will not accept your notice of resignation.

What do you do?

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LET THE GENERAL UNION HELP

If you feel like this is a situation that could happen to you, contact the GENERAL UNION in advance and let us give you further advice.

If your company decides to double-down on claiming that the contract is more powerful than the law (or you expect that that's the attitude they will take with you), we can usually help.

Furthermore, if your company is demanding that you give them a valid reason before they'll accept your notice of resignation (or, again, you expect that they might go down that route), contact the General Union.

Finally, if your company threatens with you a penalty fee for "early termination" of your contract, contact us as soon as possible, as that is illegal.

It is better to try and stop it before it happens rather than try to get the money back after the fact.


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