"My Number" System - Points and Reminders

Now that people are starting to receive their new "My Number" social security and tax number system card, here are few important reminders to be aware of:

• The PAPER CARD is mandatory. Keep it safe.

• The PLASTIC CARD is entirely optional, and must be applied for. The application documents are contained in the envelope that the paper card is delivered in.


Everything You Need To Know About "My Number"

In January of 2016, local governments and various organizations across Japan will begin to use the new "My Number" system to quickly obtain social security and tax information about an individual via one collated source. But what is the "My Number" system?


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?"


Don't bang your head against the wall. File a grievance.

Union wins grievance procedure at Relo Panasonic Excel

After many years of trying, and having only informal "gentlemen" agreements about individual grievances, union members at Panasonic now how have a formal grievance procedure in place to deal with their problems.


Non-Compete Clauses, The Law, And You

"I want to quit my job and work for another company. However, my contract has a non-compete clause that states that I am prohibited from working for another company in the same industry. Is this legal?"

If you've ever decided to leave your current dispatch company (haken kaisha) or conversation school (eikaiwa) for a different employer, you might have discovered that there was a "non-compete" clause in your contract that - on paper - seems to prohibit you actually doing so.


Changing Your Residence Status? You Don't Always Need To Leave Japan

"I came to Japan on a Working Holiday Visa / Holiday Visa. While in Japan, I interviewed with a company and was offered a position. However, my company says that I have to leave Japan and apply for a Work Visa at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. Is this true?"


Don't Let Profit Hungry Companies Eat Your Holidays

While NOVA may have finally understood the message that a worker's holidays are provided to them by the Labor Standards Act and cannot be denied by a company without sufficient reason (NO VAcation on Saturdays), other companies are not so shrewd.

Take INTERAC's holiday request form, for example.


Employers, Bank Accounts, and You

"Can my employer order me to open a bank account in order to receive my salary?"

Many dispatch companies, and eikaiwa, often insist that their new employees and contractors open a specific account with a specific bank at a specific branch - on occasion, even going so far as to send a member of staff out with the new employee to oversee the process.


Maternity leave and Child-raising leave in Japan

When planning for the future, finances are always high on the list. Planning a family is no different. Japan has some great government programs for parenting leave. These are paid by the government, not the employer, but the employer has a vital role to play, and the system can be a little tricky to navigate, so the union is here with some helpful pointers. As always, if you are experiencing any difficulties with your employer, feel free to contact the union for a consultation.


Stop further deterioration to the Labour Dispatch Law

On October 28th, the House of Representatives in plenary session heard an explanation of the aims of the proposed "Amendment" to the Labor Dispatch Law, which was then submitted to the Welfare and Labor Committee (W&LC). The W&LC has regular meetings on Wednesdays and Fridays, so in the worst-case scenario the bill could have potentially be steamrollered through on November 7th.


Working on a National Holiday?

Many of you might not know but national holidays are not guaranteed under Japanese Labor Law. Nor are companies generally required to pay overtime or special premiums to those who work national holidays as part of their regular schedule.


Part timers eligible for paid holidays

Has your company told you you don't qualify for holidays because you are part-time, or because you work on short term contracts? This is simply untrue. Part-timers are entitled to between one and 20 days.

Your company is required by law to offer both full-timers & part-timers a set number of flexible holidays based on the number of years service (days to be used at your discretion).


Working in Tokyo? Your company is bound by special ordinances

On April 1, 2013 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government implemented the Stranded Commuters Ordinance.  This is a direct result of what was learned from the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011. At the time, 5.15 million people were stranded in metropolitan Tokyo.


Union steps in to help parent denied Childcare Leave Allowance by Hello Work

Childcare leave is available in Japan for both men and women. And if you are enrolled in unemployment insurance you might be eligible to receive a substantial portion of your salary while you are off work. Things aren’t always so easy, as one General Union member recently found.


Quit - or you're fired!

Every year the General Union is successful in challenging dismissals. We win back jobs, win settlements for unfair dismissals, and at the most basic level, make sure that members at least get their fair thirty days notice or pay in lieu of notice. All these things become much harder the second you sign any sort of resignation letter.


Law and Rights

The General Union takes no responsibility for any problems you may encounter by using this information in your own disputes with your employer. We have seen non-union members fired after talking about the law with their boss. It is far safer to join the union and negotiate with your company as an equal, rather than simply as an employee.


Labour Standards Law - Women

Q: Does the Labour Standards Law say anything about menstrual leave?


Threatened With Eviction? Know Your Rights

Do you live in accommodation provided by the language school you work for? Having an apartment ready and waiting for you on your arrival in Japan is certainly convenient, but when the people who pay your wages also provide the roof over your head, you could be in a very vulnerable position unless you know your rights.


Additional information