Jan 17, 2020

Unused paid leave

Hi! I am new to this page. I have concerns that relate to my work. I have been working for five years in Japan under an agency and we are not granted a paid leave ever since. We are not aware of that because as first timers, we are told that we don’t have one. Recently, last 2019 we are granted a paid leave. Since we haven’t used it for one year, we’re given a 23 days. We we’re just informed last january 2019 so we took the chance to use it. Unfortunately, it was rejected because we applied the leave since we are planning for a vacation in my home country which was on the first week of May. So, we sent again a new form changing it by staggering it from february to april as advised. but then it was rejected again. My question is can I still get my unused paid leave after returning from my home? Since, it was our first time and I we felt fooled can I file a case against them? Thank you and Godbless


5 Answers

  • genkidesu

    on Jan 19

    I work on a freelance contract, so I don't get paid leave as such - I can take time off when I need though as agreed to with my current employer. Did you sign a contract that stipulates your entitlements? I am not sure about the legalities of paid leave in Japan, but I feel like @tomuu or @ToneToEdo might have a grasp on that kind of thing? I do remember seeing this piece on CityCost a little while back, which includes some of the legal nitty-gritty... https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/City-Cost/MAmB9-living

  • TonetoEdo

    on Jan 19

    Please see this document from Osaka which describes the national law about paid leave. https://jsite.mhlw.go.jp/osaka-roudoukyoku/library/osaka-roudoukyoku/doc/foreign/pdf/yukyu_english.pdf Contact your city office. City offices have advisory services for foreign residents. They can answer your questions about labor law.

  • Tomuu

    on Jan 21

    I would second the suggestion from @TonetoEdo to seek a consultation at your local city office. In my experience most of them offer free foreign-language consultations which can cover things like labor disputes. It's presumably a matter of company policy as to whether or not paid leave must be taken or whether the unused days are returned in the form of money, although it does appear to be the case that, in most cases, employers are now required to ensure their staff take a minimum amount of paid leave (although there is probably plenty of small print to read about that). I would also be careful about whether you "felt fooled" or you were actually and purposefully fooled. I'm no lawyer but I feel like that could be a key distinction to make should you actually want to press ahead with some kind of action. Another option is to consult with (and maybe join) some kind of independent union. There are some which deal with foreigners in Japan and some of them seem to be able to get results, although I would check your expectations this time around. Good luck!

  • TonetoEdo

    on Jan 21

    @genkidesu A paragraph in that article that may be relevant - “ In terms of when workers in Japan can take their annual paid leave (the now required five days or otherwise), the document stipulates that paid leave is to be given by employers according to the dates requested by the worker. However, employers have the right to make reasonable changes to these dates should the requested dates of paid leave prevent the normal operation of business. Of course, this begs the question as to the scope of “normal operation of business.” Something for the legal professionals to mull over. ” I’m taking 0.5 of one of my mandatory five days today while there is a lull at work. I do this so that it doesn’t interrupt operations. The alternative is to tack them onto a major holiday period like New Year, Golden Week or Obon.

  • JapanRamen

    on Jan 31

    If you are doing an English teaching related job, you can see if there is someone from the General Union for you to talk to. Not sure how much they do with other industries though but still worth a try.


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