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Leave Policy in Japan

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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EOR in 
Japan
Monthly
$
749
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
699
/month
(billed monthly)
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Table of Content

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Introduction

Expanding your business to Japan opens doors to a thriving Asian market. But navigating the world of employee benefits can feel overwhelming.  

For instance, the leave policy in Japan offers a decent framework, but cultural norms can influence employee leave benefits and usage. 

Understanding legal requirements and regional work culture is the key to benefits administration and keeping a happy, productive workforce.

This article discusses statutory obligations towards extending employee leave benefits in Japan. 

Adoption Leave in Japan

  • Adoption leave in Japan falls under the same category as childcare leave for biological children. It is similar to maternity and paternity leave. 
  • You must allow adoptive parents to take up to one year of leave after the child's arrival under the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law. 

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Earned Leave in Japan

Earned leave refers to paid time off from work that employees accumulate over time. Here's a breakdown of the different types of earned leave in Japan:

Annual paid leave:

  • The minimum legal requirement is 10 days of paid leave per year.
  • The number of annual leave days increases with the length of service:
Continuous Year Of Service Annual Leave
0.5 years 10 days
1.5 11 days
2.5 12 days
3.5 14 days
4.5 16 days
5.5 18 days
6.5 or more 20 days

Weekly paid days off: 

  • The official leave policy in Japan prescribes flexible scheduling options. 
  • Employees must receive at least one day off per week or four days off within four weeks. 
  • These "statutory days off" can be any days agreed upon by the employer and employees, regardless of weekends or holidays.
  • Employees in Japan are entitled to take compensatory leave in place of additional working hours. 

Maternity Leave in Japan

You may extend the following benefits extending maternity leave in Japan:

Provision Details
Leave Period
  • Minimum six weeks before the expected delivery date
  • Eight weeks after childbirth can be extended up to 12 weeks
Shortening Leave The minimum combined leave (prepartum + post-partum) must be eight weeks.
Pay
  • Employers must pay at least 2/3rd of the employee's average monthly wage during leave.
  • Public health insurance may cover additional benefits.

Parental Leave in Japan

Parental leave in Japan offers a generous amount of time off for new parents, like

Provision Details
Leave Period (Maximum) Up to one year
Leave Period (Extension) Additional one year, possible due to a lack of available daycare spots or a preference for continued parental care
Pay Approx. 67% salary for the first six months, then 50% (capped)
Eligibility After one year at the company

Additionally, companies with 1,000 or more employees must publicly disclose the annual rate at which their staff take childcare leave.

Paternity Leave in Japan

You may adopt the following provisions to extend paternity leave in Japan: 

Provision Details
Leave Period (Standard) Up to four weeks within eight weeks after childbirth
Leave Period (New) Up to eight weeks within the first year of the child's life
Pay Approx. 67% salary (capped)

Public Holidays in Japan

You must observe the following 16 public holidays in Japan:

Holiday Date
New Year's Day January 1st
Coming-of-Age Day Second Monday in January
National Foundation Day February 11th
Vernal Equinox Day Around March 20th or 21st
Emperor's Birthday - Showa Day April 29th
Constitution Memorial Day May 3rd
Greenery Day May 4th
Children's Day May 5th
Marine Day Third Monday in July
Mountain Day Second Monday in August
Respect for the Aged Day Third Monday in September
Autumnal Equinox Day Around September 22nd or 23rd
Sports Day Second Monday in October
Culture Day November 3rd
Labor Thanksgiving Day November 23rd
Emperor's Accession to the Throne Day Varies depending on the Emperor

Sick Leave Policy in Japan

Japan doesn't have a legal right to paid sick leave. However, you may allow employees to use their accrued vacation days if they become ill. 

Moreover, some foreign-owned companies offer a dedicated sick leave policy in Japan as an additional benefit.

Casual Leave In Japan

Furthermore, casual leave in Japan as a formal concept does not align with the national work culture. However, individual company policies may have a special provision for a short leave of absence for personal reasons. 

Unpaid Leave in Japan

Employers are not statutorily required to grant unpaid leave for personal reasons such as extended travel, family matters beyond legally mandated leaves, or pursuing personal projects. 

Other Leaves

However, you can include special leave every year as extended breaks in Japan:

  • A popular week-long holiday period combining four national holidays (Showa Day, Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children's Day). Many employees strategically use their annual leave during this time to create a more extended break.
  • Some companies offer additional paid leave beyond the legal minimum. This could include special leave for personal events like sabbatical, grief, marriage, or company events.

Easily Navigate the Leave Policy in Japan with Skuad

Hiring, onboarding, and benefits administration on your own can be daunting. This is especially true for companies expanding internationally. Fortunately, Skuad offers a comprehensive solution.

Skuad's powerful platform empowers organizations to effortlessly manage employees, including leave policies, payroll, and other statutory benefits, across 160+ countries, including Japan.  

Talk to our experts today for global expansion with confidence!

FAQs

Q1. What is the leave law in Japan?

A1. The leave law in Japan includes statutory annual paid leave of a minimum of 10 days and generous maternity and family care leave. There is no special provision for sick leave. Companies can offer casual leave for personal reasons every year to keep their employees motivated.  

Q2. How many days off in a week in Japan?

A2. There is no mandated number of days off per week in Japan. However, employers must grant employees at least one day off every four weeks, or the equivalent of four days off per month.

Q3. What are the vacation periods in Japan?

A3. The vacation period in Japan includes a minimum of 10 days of paid annual leave and can be used for holidays, personal needs, or sickness. Some companies offer additional paid leave for events like bereavement or marriage.

Q4. Can I take unpaid leave in Japan?

A4. There is no statutory requirement to extend unpaid leave in Japan. However, employees can discuss this with their employer well in advance, explaining the reason for the disruption and proposing solutions to minimize it.

Hire and pay dedicated developers in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Japan
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
699
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Hire and pay dedicated developers in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Japan
Monthly
$
749
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
699
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

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