HR legal requirements

January 10, 2020

Umbrella Inc’s main office is in Tokyo. In this country the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (EIRA) sets most of the legal requirements for contract of employment between employer and employees. Here below a short assessment on the impact of few of these requirements in human resource planning, specifically for the Japanese branch of the group.

Discrimination and gender equality

Discrimination and gender inequality in all aspects of employment, including but not limited to job offers, recruitment advertising, terms and conditions of employment, access to promotions, training opportunities and dismissal are forbidden. The purpose of this policy is to enforce a fair and transparent treatment of all the employees and the steps to be taken to prevent and tackle unwanted behaviors. Legal requirement helps to create and maintain a healthy work environment where everybody is treated equally and without discriminations. Employees can perform at their best while loyalty thrives together with workforce stability. At the same time, resources turnover is reduced together with recruitment costs for replacements.

Protection of Maternity

Maternity leave is regulated by Protection of Maternity regulations as per law, an employee is entitled to 14 weeks fully paid maternity leave. During the maternity leave, the employee’s contract of employment continues in force and she is entitled to receive all her contractual benefits. By the same regulation a pregnant employee is entitled to paid time off to attend ante-natal examinations when such examinations take place during hours of work. It also guarantees pregnant women not be dismissed by the employer during the period of her maternity and to have the same position once she returns back to work. Although this a good starting point, compared to other European countries, Japanese law gives only a basic protection to pregnant employees so is not uncommon to have families relocating to countries where longer maternity leave period is regulated by law before they plan to have a child.

Paid leave

In Japan an employee working 40 hours per week is entitled to 26 days of paid annual leave. For 2005 one additional day of vocational leave is granted to compensate for the number of public holidays falling on a weekend. This measure protects the health and safety of the employees by ensuring and enforcing a good balance between working and recreational days. Having an amount of annual leaves in line with other European countries puts Japanese employers in a good position when it comes to attracting workforce from foreign countries. When setting up a team that performs activities for the entire year without breaks the human resources planning has to keep this detail in mind to determine the correct number of resources to be allocated. Each employee can’t work for more than 11 months per year, so the leave planning is another key activity to carry out across the entire year to respect staff’s rights and meet business requirements.

Notice period

According to Japanese law, the duration of notice of termination of employment is as follows:

Employee’s continuous length of service Notice period
for more than one month but not more than six months 1 week
for more than six months but not more than two years 2 weeks
for more than two years but not more than four years 4 weeks
for more than four years but not more than seven years 8 weeks
for more than seven years an additional 1 week for every subsequent year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks

A longer period may be agreed by the employer and employee in the case of key positions. During the notice period, the contract of employment remains in force. The employee is obliged to work during the full notice period and entitled to receive full pay and benefits. The human resource plan has always to keep the notice period into consideration together with the time required to find a replacement for an employee. With these two metrics in mind a better resource allocation can be done in order not to end up with too few members of staff.

Claudio Maccari - Profile picture

Written by Claudio Maccari . Passionate developer and former windsurfer. You can read more about me here