The employment type in Japan differs from other countries. To find a suitable job in Japan, it is important to know what are the various employment types as well as working culture to keep yourself prepared.


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Types of Employment in Japan

Permanent Employee(正社員)

Permanent employment means that the employees work full-time and signed the contract with the company as regular employment.

This employment is beneficial to the employer as it is easier to attract talents and secure employee loyalty with the permanent position. Whereas, the downside is that it is harder to dismiss employees if they do not perform well.

There are various benefits of being a permanent employee such as having secured salaries, opportunities for promotion, insurance coverage (social, employment, etc.), transportation allowances, bonuses, maternity and paternity leave etc.

Permanent employees need to have this status as it is often necessary especially for foreigners who want to work in Japan in the long run.

The permanent employment contract is one of the formal documents that is used by the immigration bureau to prove that an employee has a stable and secure source of income to support their life in Japan.

Contract Employee(契約社員)

Contracts employment usually requires employees to work for a short and specified term such as from three to twelve months. It is one of non-regular employment contract in Japan.

Under the contract employment, the employees are entitled to various benefits. Companies are obliged to pay overtime allowance to all contract employees and they are allowed to work for another company. Additionally, contract employees are also given the choice to be enrolled in the National Social Security System and they are eligible for paid leave after six months of employment.

In contrast, contract employees often do not receive additional welfare such as bonus, a retirement bonus, transportation allowance, and rent allowance.

Part-time (アルバイト)

Employees who work as part-time is hired by a company based on a fixed-term employment contract. In Japan, getting a part-time job is common among students and housewives. Students working as part-time often called “Arubaito”.

There are various benefits of working as a part-time employee in Japan. One of the benefits is the flexibility of getting to choose their schedules which best suits their lifestyle. This allows students and housewives to have a work-life balance and continue to pursue their hobbies or responsibilities. Furthermore, part-time employees can take up multiple jobs instead of sticking to one particular job.

However, working as a part-time employee has its downside. Most of the part-time employees work full-time eight hours a day and yet they are still earning much lower as compared to permanent employees. Moreover, they might not receive the full benefit. Thus, working as a part-time employee has its pros and cons.


An internship is a position of a student or trainee being deployed to work in a company.

The purpose of this program is to deepen their understanding of how it is like working in a real-world and to gain new experiences. Usually, interns duration of work varies such as working five days for short-term and working for a year for long-term.

There are different types of internship in Japan:

  • Short-term internship – mainly for students who want to work for one day to one week. It is suitable for students with hectic schedules but still wants to gain work experience during semester breaks.
  • Long-term internship – mainly for students who want to work for one to six months. Offers students real working experience by involving them in projects and team meetings.

The main benefit of hiring interns is that company can save costs instead of hiring permanent employees.

Temporary Worker (派遣社員)

The word “Haken” means temporary employees in Japan. “Haken” employee will be recruited by an agency instead of the company.

Hiring temporary employees can provide various benefits for the business. Since these employees are recruited via an agency, the employer has the freedom to inform the agency to replace underperforming employees. Additionally, businesses are not required to provide any administration such as leave, payroll or transportation.

However, hiring temporary employees might have additional costs due to sourcing for candidates through an external agency. These agencies require administration fees such as providing temporary employees with transportation expenses, training and payroll. Thus, the cost of hiring temporary employees is similar to hiring permanent employees.

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