Japan Employment Law

COVID-19 Workforce Decision Making: Don’t Forget Your Foreign National Population

Given the current pandemic, companies are tackling an array of business-critical decisions ranging from workplace safety measures to remote working parameters to pay cuts, furloughs and reductions in force. In this mass of competing priorities, employers of foreign national employees should be careful not to overlook any unique impact that their decision making can have on their nonimmigrant employee population and corresponding compliance requirements that may be triggered. The analysis and impact will be highly contingent upon what type of work authorization and nonimmigrant status the employees are working pursuant to (for example: H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN or F-1 OPT EAD holder), and what the corresponding parameters of their status are. READ MORE

新型コロナウイルス:緊急事態宣言後に会社が取り得る選択肢

2020年4月7日に、安倍総理大臣は、7都道府県(東京都、神奈川県、埼玉県、千葉県、大阪府、兵庫県、福岡県)を対象に、効力を5月6日までとする新型インフルエンザ等対策特別措置法に基づく緊急事態宣言を行った。その後、対象地域の各知事は、独自の基準で、外出の自粛、休業や時間短縮、学校の閉鎖などの緊急事態措置を要請するとともに、休業に応じた事業主への補償を発表している。そして、4月16日には、緊急事態宣言の対象地域を日本全国に拡大することが発表された。 READ MORE

Employers’ Options after the Declaration of State of Emergency in Japan

On April 7, Japan declared a state of emergency covering the seven prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka, effective immediately and lasting through May 6. Subsequently, the governors of such prefectures, based on their own criteria, each issued emergency measure requests such as refraining from going outside, reduction of work hours or suspension of operations, and closure of schools[1]. Such requests, however, do not constitute a lockdown and do not carry the force of enforceability, and are dependent on voluntary compliance. Further, for instance, with respect to compensation for businesses that do comply and suspend operations, the handling by the prefectures depend in part on their financial capacity, and is not uniform. READ MORE

Cross-Border Layoffs in the Wake of the COVID-19 International Pandemic

As bars, restaurants, theatres, sporting and entertainment events, gyms, casinos, movie theatres, and other establishments shutter globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic many employers have been forced to consider immediate layoffs of their employees around the world in response to their businesses having been essentially shut down. Other employers, faced with the possibility of a looming global recession, are preparing for potential future international layoffs. Significant pitfalls await employers conducting layoffs (temporary or permanent) outside of the U.S., which are heavily regulated by law, including mandatory severance payments, notice periods and cumbersome processes. We discuss some of these pitfalls for selected countries outside the U.S. including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Spain and the UK below and discuss some of the early responses by countries like Spain and Germany to create exceptions to the normal requirements. READ MORE

The Many Pitfalls of Fixed-Term Employment in Germany – Or: How Long is “Very Long”?

In Germany, fixed-term employment is strictly regulated: As a rule, fixed-term requires objective grounds that justify the limited term. There are exceptions for new hires: If the same employee has not been employed (on a fixed-term or open-ended) by the company before, as a rule, a fixed-term not exceeding two years is allowed including a maximum of three renewals within that period. READ MORE

Japan Enacts Work Style Reform Law

In Japan, reforms over the years of its labor laws, which have been largely premised on a system of lifetime employment and time based wages, have remained minor and labor related issues such as low productivity, depressed wages, karoshi (death by overwork) from long working hours and power harassment, employers that coerce its employees to perform, but do not pay them properly for, overtime work, and increased prevalence of using contingent  employees (employees paid on an hourly basis, contract employees and dispatched workers) as adjustable and disposable work forces, became entrenched. READ MORE