【The minimum wage in Okinawa Prefecture will be increased.】


The Okinawa Labor Bureau has announced in the official gazette that the hourly minimum wage in the prefecture will be raised from the current 792 yen to 820 yen, an increase of 28 yen.
From October 8, the minimum wage for those working in the prefecture will be 820 yen per hour. Those who are about to start working, as well as those who are already working, are advised to check their wages by checking their working condition notice.

【To all foreigners who are having problems with their jobs and workplaces】


To all foreigners who are having problems with their jobs and workplaces
The largest number of consultations received by the OIHF is about "status of residence (visa).
The second most common topic is "work and workplace".
Depending on your status of residence, some foreign residents may not be able to renew their status of residence if they lose their jobs, so these two issues cannot be considered separately.
In Japan, there is a law called the "Labor Standards Law," and regardless of nationality, workers are protected by the law. Some of these laws are introduced here.
Labor Standards Law
Article 2 Working conditions shall be determined by workers and employers on an equal basis.
The term "worker" in this context means "a person who works for wages. Therefore, there is no distinction between full-time employees, part-time employees, and part-time employees. The term "employer" refers to "any person who acts on behalf of the employer," regardless of titles such as president, director, or general manager.
And "labor" (working) is also one of the contracts. Therefore, there are a number of rules in a contract, such as "how much wages", "what time to work", "when to take a day off", "where to work", and "what kind of work to do". These are called working conditions.
This law says that when deciding on these rules (working conditions), workers and employers should decide on an "equal footing." It does not mean that the position of the person who pays the money (wages) is stronger or more important.
Article 3: An employer shall not discriminate against a worker with respect to wages, working hours, or other working conditions on the basis of the worker's nationality, creed, or social status.
The term "creed" here is not limited to faith or religion but has a broader meaning of "something that a person firmly believes in and adheres to.
Social status refers to a person's status based on his or her birth.
This status system is no longer in place in modern Japan.
And, of course, other articles and other laws prohibit discrimination based on gender.
If you are being discriminated against or treated unfairly in the workplace, or if you tell your boss that you are married or pregnant, and you are told to quit the company or that your contract will not be renewed anymore, please consult with OIHF.

【After October 1st, the benefit restriction period for receiving unemployment benefits will be shortened.】


There were 7 days waiting period after you applied unemployment benefit and plus three months restriction period to receive unemployment benefit up until now (Sep 30th, 2020).
However, this restriction period will be shortened to 2 months from October 1st.

Those who got restricted or lay off, you may wait only 7days to receive unemployment benefit after you applied application form.

If you need assist to apply or the process of unemployment benefit and any other question such as you would like to know approximate amount of the unemployment benefit, etc. Please contact OIHF.

[Are there any people who are having trouble working because of the COVID-19 ? ]


Q. [I heard that the wages people receive in Tokyo and Okinawa are different even if they do the same job. Is it true?]
A. [It’s true. There is a "minimum wage per hour" in Japan. This minimum wage varies depending on the prefecture.]

According to recent data (October 2019), the highest wage per hour is 1,013-yen in Tokyo.
The lowest hourly wage is 790-yen in 6 prefectures and Okinawa in Kyushu area excluding Fukuoka. 
Even if you work at the convenience store as a part-timer for 6 hours, there will be a difference of 1,338-yen between Tokyo and Osaka.
International students are allowed to work part-time up to 28 hours per week. If you worked up to the upper limit, the difference would be 6,244 yen per week. Actually, late wages such as work after 10p.m. are calculated based on the basic wage, so there may be more differences.
This minimum wage means that "employers are prohibited to make employees work below their minimum wage in any job." So it is illegal to go below the minimum wage, but it is okay to pay more than the minimum wage.
So when there is a labor shortage, companies raise wages in order to secure workers.
Otherwise, no one will work for the company.
Workers can find a place to work soon after they quit, so they change jobs in search of higher wages.
And overall wages will go up. Japan was in this situation until the beginning of this year.

How about the current situation?

The performance of many companies deteriorated along with the spread of COVID-19, and some companies are going out of business such as bankruptcy, closure of business, reduction of business, suspension of employment, and termination of employment.
Then, the number of workers seeking jobs will increase. Companies will have no need to hire new employees and will not afford to hire any more, so the unemployment rate will increase.
If the unemployment rate goes up, companies can hire people without paying higher wages, so wages will be, of course, lower overall.
This situation will continue for a while.

It is a difficult social environment for those who are looking for a job like this.
OIHF has also received consultation regarding work so far.
OIHF cannot introduce companies or jobs directly, but we can ask you for your desire to find a job and provide information on Hellowork and job search sites.
Other than that, we also offer consultations on unemployment benefits for employment insurance, health insurance, pensions, and special loans for living and welfare funds.

If you have any problems, please contact us.

Things to be aware of when getting a job at a Japanese company


Some people say  "I left my company" or "I lost my job because the company disappeared." due to COVID-19.Nobody can live without a salary, so everybody looks for the next job.
Until the beginning of the year, it was said to be a seller's market (there are a lot of jobs to work with and it's easy to find), but now that's not the case. Finding a job is difficult. It's no wonder that everyone wants to work immediately if they finally find a job.

But wait a moment! Is the company really okay?
①Unknown how long the "trial period" is The "trial period" is a period for determining the capabilities of the employed workers. Generally, wages are kept low during the trial period. This means, "You are still an "apprentice". If you become a force of the company, you will be paid higher wages later." The law does not explicitly state how long a trial can last, but it is typically 3-6 months. You should be careful about companies that extend this trial period. The company may see you as a cheap labor force.
Also, just because the trial period is in progress, the company cannot dismiss the employee because of one-sided reasons such as how your work does not meet the expectations of the company.
If you have any harassment from your company or boss or you get an unreasonably low salary due to the trial period, please consult OIHF.

② The company does not enroll you in social insurance
With some exceptions, companies are obliged to enroll their workers in social insurance such as health insurance, welfare pensions and employment insurance in hiring. The company and the workers share the same premium. That is, the company may avoid paying costs and prevent workers from getting social insurance. Not taking out social insurance will increase the wages you get. Even if you lose your job, however, you will not receive the unemployment allowance, and the pension amount that you are supposed to recieve in the future. In addition, there are many disadvantages, such as not being able to receive injury and sickness allowances when you leave the company due to illness, or not being able to receive childcare leave benefits while you have a baby and are resting. In some cases, the owner of the company is ignorant and does not have insurance. However, there are many cases in which it is known that it is illegal (the company does not want to bear the insurance premium), so be sure to check the salary details properly.

③ There is no paid leave
The company is obliged to give you paid leave, if six months have passed since you hired you and you work 80% or more of all working days. The company has the right to change the time of a paid leave (the right to take a rest on another day because it is a very busy day), but the company does not have the right not to give a paid leave. However, it is illegal to say, for example, that if you get sick, you will be deducted from your monthly salary for the day, or if you offer to take paid leave, you will be told, "There is no such thing at this company." 

④ The company tries to force the worker to quit
Under Japanese law, dismissing a worker is not easy. The law states that a company can tell workers 30 days in advance that they will "dismiss," or pay 30 days of wages to dismiss them immediately. Even in that case, "reasonable reason for dismissal" is required. Reasons for this include stealing your company's money or telling someone a secret. However, simply not being remembered or working slower than others is hardly a rational reason. When it comes to trial, companies often lose. So the company tries to harass you in a variety of ways, letting you say, "I'm leaving the company." Be careful! There is a big difference between being forced to quit by the company (company convenience) and quitting from yourself (personal convenience), even if they are the same retirement.
If you don't want to quit the company and sign the "Retirement Letter", that means you quit at your own will.

⑤ No overtime pay
If you work more than the legal working hours, you have the right to get an overtime pay (overtime pay). If you work 10 hours a day or 60 hours a week and your monthly salary remains the same, it's illegal. Just because a company says, "I'm in a bad economy right now," or "The company has an annual salary system," doesn't mean you don't pay overtime. Even for companies that use the flextime system, the formula is complicated, but you can get overtime pay. Trouble caused by unpaid overtime is a common case for consultation. Please be careful.

In addition to the above cases, we receive various consultations related to work.
Please check the "Notice of Working Conditions" when you start working.The “Working Conditions Notice” clearly describes working hours, wages, and retirement. The law stipulates these items that the company must make clear to the workers.
This is what Hello Work is also informing.

Some parts of the “Working Conditions Notice” may be blank or handwritten. In that case, don't leave it unknown.
If you have any questions or concerns, check with your company or supervisor before working.

Salary compensation to their workers in an operating suspension of the company due to the COVID-19


Isn't anyone among you saying that your company is closed during the COVID-19 infection control measures and you are not paid during that time? You may get money from the country even if you don't quit the company. Until now, only people who quit (quitted) the company called "unemployment benefits" received the money. However, under the new subsidy system, people who have not left the company, but who have not received a salary (*Salary Compensation) during that time, can now get money from the government. This applies not only to full-time employees but also to people who work as part-timers. Even if you do not have employment insurance, you are eligible. The procedure is the same as for unemployment benefits and can be done by Hello Work. If you have any questions, please contact OIHF.

*Salary compensation to their workers in an operating suspension of the company due to the COVID-19: The company pays the salaries of workers while the company is closed for the convenience of the company. Under Japanese law, companies are supposed to pay more than 60% of their salary. However, with this COVID-19 measure, it was difficult to understand whether the workers had to take a break due to the company's reasons or someone ordered them to take a break. As a result, we could not say that not paying salary compensation was a violation of the law. Therefore, the government created a system called "employment adjustment subsidy." However, this system had the following procedure problems.

The company is supposed to receive money from the government after the company once paid the money to the workers who replaced it. Since the company is supposed to do the procedure, the workers does not know how much they will get.
There are also companies that do not process.


Is there anyone dismissed or hired because of the COVID-19? Also, is there anyone who is not paid by the company or who is in trouble because the company refuses to pay the salary? OIHF handles such consultations free of charge. If you wish, we can ask the company to pay you together, such as by going to the Labor Inspection Standard. If you have any problems, please contact OIHF (free of charge).