Japan Management Consulting

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Japan Employee Benefits

This page describes some of the common benefits for employees of foreign companies in Japan:

Paid Vacation

The Labor Law stipulates the minimum amount of paid vacation for  employees. The number of days of paid vacation is based on the seniority in the company:

Seniority Paid Vacation earned
6 Months 10 days
1.5 Years 11 days
2.5 Years 12 days
3.5 Years 14 days
4.5 Years 16 days
5.5 Years 18 days
6.5 Years 20 days

Employees may accumulate up to two years’ unused paid vacation.

Health Care:

In Japan, there is a National Universal Health care system. All Japanese employees enrolled in Social Insurance, benefit from the national coverage. Employees receive a Social Insurance card. With this Social Insurance card, employees can visit any medical institution of their choice, receive health care and pay only 30% of the standard costs.


When employee register to Social Insurance, they also register with Employee Pension system. This system provides a pension to employees who have worked in Japan at least 25 years from the age of 60 years old. Pension benefits depend form individual career so there is no standard payments.

However since pension payments are relatively low, some companies who wish to keep their employees till retirement age give employees either lump sum payment when they reach retirement age or a fixed term pension.

National Pension plan typically offers monthly payment between 100,000 JPY and 250,000 JPY depending on salary for people who contributed at least 25 years in the system.

The example below is for people who will contribute for the maximum 40 years.

– 43 year old with a monthly payroll of 700,000JPY →       220,000JPY/month

– 36 year old with a monthly payroll of 400,000JPY →       150,000JPY/month

– 33 year old with a monthly payroll of 300,000    →           133,000JPY/month

Please note that pension tax rates and benefits change regularly.


There is a minimum overtime payment defined by Japanese Labor Law. See our specialized overtime webpage

Commutation expense

Companies typically refund commutation expenses based on the monthly train fare although it is not an obligation. Please note that commutation expenses are subject to Social Insurance and Labor Insurance but not to employee income tax.

Business Expenses

Business related expenses are fully reimbursed to employees (travel , meals, lodging).

Expenses non related to work usually have to be included in salary and are subject to taxation. Example: sport club membership,

Expenses refunds are typically not included in the payroll slip.

Sick Leave

In general, there is no sick leave rights in Japan. When employees get sick they use their paid vacation to take leave of absence. Some foreign companies grant sick leave to their employees as a special benefit.

Maternity/Paternity  Leave, Child care leave

Employees have rights to Maternity leave and Child care leave. Please see our specialized Maternity Child care leave page.

Additional paid day leave that are usually granted by company

(1)        Leave due to death in the family

a.       Death of a father, mother, spouse, or child: up to five (5) days

In this case the number of days required for a round trip can be considered as leave; other days may be provided in addition to the number of days indicated above.

b.       Death of a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, child’s spouse, or spouse’s parent: up to three (3) days

In the event of (a) or (b), when an employee is the chief mourner (the person in charge of arranging the funeral service), leave (up to two (2) days) is added.

(2)       Leave to attend Buddhist memorial services

            For the first year memorial service of a deceased parent, spouse or child: one (1) day

(3)       Transfer leave

            Approved number of days in the case of a transfer: up to five (5) days

(4)       Leave for marriage

            When an employee marries: five (5) days

(5)    Leave for jury service      

         When an employee is elected as a juror and she/he must appear in court: the approved number of days.

(6)    Public work leave

            When an employee carries out  public office duties: the approved number of days

Short Term leave/Long Term leave

Short Term leave and Long Term leave are not regulated by Labor law. It is a matter of agreement between the company and the employee. Usually employees can take unpaid short leave.

Annual Physical Check up Benefit..

Employees registered under the social insurance general system “Kyokai Kempo” are entitled to receive as a benefit an annual physical check up, at any hospitals designated by “Kyokai-kempo” 協会けんぽ. Cost supported by the employee for this check up is around JPY 7,000. More advanced check up are available for additional fees.

For further reference, please consult the brochure of the annual health check provided by Kyokai Kempo.

Procedure to follow for annual check up

Make an appointment for your health check with a designated hospital. At that time, the hospital will inform you its hospital check up application procedure.  Hospitals for check up can be found from Kyokai-kempo website

Print out the application obtained from Kyokai Kempo write necessary information such as your insurance number, the date of your health check and the hospital code.

Send the application to Kyokai-kenpo by mail. If the hospital is in Tokyo, please send it to Kyokai-kenpo Tokyo branch.

Bring health insurance card to the hospital on the health check up day

Maternity leave in Japan

Please refer to the maternity leave page.