Labor laws in Japan allow foreign workers to file Condolence Leave

More and more international workers from different parts of the globe are interested to land a good job in Japan. The recent changes in Japanese Immigration Laws that used to be very stringent now allow foreign nationals to take up jobs in certain sectors or industries suffering from chronic labor shortage such as construction, farming and nursing, among others. The government looks forward to an influx of foreign job applicants in order to solve the labor problems in the country brought about by its aging population and low birth rate.


Under the new immigration system, more than three hundred thousand foreign nationals would be given the opportunity to work in various industries in Japan. In addition, the new visa category enables a foreigner to stay in the country for five years provided that they meet the skill standards expected of them as well as the required level of Japanese language proficiency.


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At some point, one of the biggest challenges that foreign nationals working in Japan has to deal with is the possibility of losing a loved one in their home country. It is thus important for non-Japanese workers to be familiar with their labor rights to file a bereavement leave in view of the death or serious illness of a family member.


Based on Japanese Labor Laws, the employers are legally bound to provide a “condolence leave” which is otherwise known as kibiki kyuka to their full-time employees. Unfortunately, this mandatory benefit provided under the law is not applicable to those who are employed on a short term basis, or those working part-time.


For full-time foreign employees of Japanese firms, the labor laws of Japan allow them to avail of the condolence leave; the duration of which depends on their relationship to the deceased. If their spouse, child, or parent passed away, they may be granted a paid leave of up to five days. Meanwhile, if it is a grandparent, sibling, or grandchild who died, they may be given three days. Finally, for any other relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity such as an aunt, uncle or cousin, the foreign worker may be allowed up two days.



Taking bereavement leave as a foreign worker in Japan

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