Japan is a country that is known for rewarding its employees for the hard work and commitment which they have put in. Besides providing allowances for their employees, the employees are also entitled to various leave. This is to ensure that the employees are treated fairly and take rest when necessary to prevent burnout from working intensively.

If you are looking to start a business in Japan or starting a career in Japan, here are some important information you should have a basic knowledge of.

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Statutory leaves in Japan

In Japan, all companies must follow and obliged to provide statutory leaves. This means that employers who do not provide such statutory leaves can be sued by their employees. Below are some of the statutory leave:

Annual Paid leave

In Japan, annual paid leave is called “Nenkyu” or “Yukyu”. Regardless of the company size or revenue, all companies are obliged to incorporate this system in the workplace.

All permanent and contract employees are entitled to 10 days of paid leave per year. To be eligible for this leave, the employees have to work for the company for at least 6 consecutive months. This leave can be taken separately or consecutively depending on the company’s current situation if they would require more manpower to work on that day. For the annual paid leave system, the longer the employee work for the company, the more days of annual paid leave they will be entitled to.

Besides, part-time workers can also be entitled to annual paid leave however it also depends on the number of days they worked.

Maternity leave

Female employees who are experiencing pregnancy and childbirth are qualified for maternity leave. It is the responsibility of the employee to request this leave before the expected date of delivery of the childbirth which is 6 weeks before the expected due date. The salary of the female employee will be compensated by the government in Japan. Moreover, employers are not allowed to request the female employee to work for this period.

During the maternity leave, the female employee salary will be fully provided by the University of Tokyo. Regarding the tax or insurance, it will not be applicable in this situation as the employee does not have income.

Child Care leave

Child care leave applies to both male and female employees. Under the Medical Leave Act, employees are allowed to take leave for their child up to 1 year old.  To be eligible for Child Care Leave, the employees need to work at least 1 year in the company. This leave can be split between both the father and mother if they both qualify. 

Moreover, the compensation is covered by the labour insurance and the company may have to contribute some amount during this period. The employer is also responsible to submit the relevant documents to Hello Work.

Nursing care Leave

Employees with family members will be eligible for this leave. The purpose of this leave is to allow the employees to have an adequate amount of time to take care of their family members. The employee is allowed to have 5 days of leave per year however employees with more than two family members in need of care be entitled to up to 10 days of leave.

Menstrual leave

Menstrual leave in Japan has been around for more than 70 years. The purpose of this leave grants the rights for female employees who are experiencing or struggling with extreme menstrual pains to rest when necessary. The female employees need to inform the company if they are taking menstrual leave on that day.

Non-statutory leaves in Japan

On the other hand, there is also non-statutory leaves in Japan. In this case, it is not mandatory and it depends on the company to provide these types of leave for their employees. 

Below are some of the non-statutory leave:

Heartbreak leave

Recently, Japan announced that employees who are heartbroken can be granted for heartbreak leave under the new labour law in Japan. This heartbreak leave is meant for employees who recently suffered from heartbreak. The intend of heartbreak leave is to ensure employees are emotionally and physically stable to continue with current work activities.

Bereavement Leave

Under Japan’s labour law, full-time employees are granted several numbers of days for bereavement leave though it depends on the employee’s relationship with the deceased.

Employees can be entitled to up to 5 days of bereavement leave. In the case where an employee finds that the number of leaves is not sufficient, they can utilise their annual leave in addition to the current bereavement leave.

Marriage leave

In Japan, some companies will provide marriage leave for their employees who are getting married. The number of marriage leave depends on the agreement between the company and the employer.

There are also some conditions to be eligible for paid marriage leave. The marriage leave must be taken by the employee within 6 months of registration whereas if the employee resigned within the 6 months it will be unpaid marriage leave.


To sum up, employees working in Japan are entitled to various leave in which overseas companies do not provide. There are statutory and non-statutory leave that the Japanese companies have to offer. If you are planning to start your career or even starting a business in Japan, these are some of the leave entitlements provided to you when you work in Japan.

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