Leave Policy in Japan

Shraddha Saxena
Manage Japan's holidays and leave types with Gloroots, efficiently handling annual leave, holiday requests, and employee leave categorie

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Table of Content

Japan's leave policy ensures employees receive adequate rest and personal time, balancing work and life. This guide provides an overview of key leave policies and regulations in Japan. Employers looking to hire employees from Japan or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in Japan must be well-versed in these regulations to ensure compliance and effective workforce management.

Annual Leave (Vacation)

In Japan, paid leave is outlined in employment contracts and is based on the length of service, in addition to any public holidays. Unused leave expires after two years.

Years of Service Paid Leave Entitlement
Up to 6 months 10 days
Up to 1.5 years 11 days
Up to 2.5 years 12 days
Up to 3.5 years 14 days
Up to 4.5 years 16 days
Up to 5.5 years 18 days
Up to 6.5 years and beyond 20 days

Public Holidays

  • Japan has 16 public holidays.
  • There is no legal obligation to pay for public holidays, but it is customary to provide these days as paid days off.
  • If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following working day becomes a public holiday.
  • Businesses typically close from December 29th to January 3rd.

2024 Public Holidays in Japan:

  • 1 Jan 2024 (Monday): New Year’s Day
  • 8 Jan 2024 (Monday): Coming of Age Day
  • 11 Feb 2024 (Sunday): National Foundation Day
  • 23 Feb 2024 (Friday): Emperor’s Birthday
  • 20 Mar 2024 (Wednesday): Vernal Equinox Day
  • 29 Apr 2024 (Monday): Shōwa Day
  • 3 May 2024 (Friday): Constitution Memorial Day
  • 4 May 2024 (Saturday): Greenery Day
  • 5 May 2024 (Sunday): Children’s Day
  • 15 Jul 2024 (Monday): Marine Day
  • 11 Aug 2024 (Sunday): Mountain Day
  • 16 Sep 2024 (Monday): Respect for the Aged Day
  • 23 Sep 2024 (Monday): Autumnal Equinox Day
  • 14 Oct 2024 (Monday): Sports Day
  • 3 Nov 2024 (Sunday): Culture Day
  • 23 Nov 2024 (Saturday): Labor Thanksgiving Day

Sick Days

Sick leave is not required by law. Some companies may establish their own sick leave policies, and employees typically use their holiday leave to cover sick days or claim social insurance benefits.

Maternity Leave

All female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave:

  • 6 weeks before the due date.
  • 8 weeks after the birth.

Maternity payments are provided by Social Insurance based on National Health Insurance rates, currently set at 420,000 JPY per child.

Employees enrolled in the employees' health insurance may receive a maternity allowance of 2/3 of their regular salary:

  • From 42 days before childbirth.
  • Until 56 days after delivery.

Paternity Leave

  • Fathers in Japan are eligible for paid paternity leave, referred to as "childcare leave," for up to one year after the birth of their child.
  • During this leave, fathers do not receive a salary unless their employment contract states otherwise, but they can receive a partial allowance from social security.
  • Male employees are entitled to four weeks of leave within eight weeks after the birth, which can be taken in one or two segments (Childcare at Birth Leave).
  • The benefits for Childcare at Birth Leave are provided by social security at the same rate as maternity leave, which is 67% of the covered pay.
  • This Childcare at Birth Leave is in addition to the existing government-paid childcare leave entitlements for both parents, which can now be taken in one or two separate periods (previously only one).

Childcare Leave

  • Either parent in Japan can take childcare leave, which begins the day after maternity leave ends.
  • Childcare leave is covered by labor insurance.
  • Employees can take childcare leave until the child is one year old.
  • If both parents utilize childcare leave, the period extends until the child is one year and two months old.
  • Companies with 1,000 or more employees are required to annually disclose the percentage of their workforce that takes childcare leave.

Casual Leave

Additionally, casual leave as a formal concept does not fit within the typical work culture in Japan. However, some companies may include special provisions in their policies for short personal leave.

Unpaid Leave

Employers in Japan are not legally obligated to provide unpaid leave for personal reasons, such as extended travel, family matters beyond those covered by law, or pursuing personal projects.

Hassle-Free Leave Policy Management in Japan with Gloroots

At Gloroots, we understand that managing leave policies can be complex, especially when expanding your business and hiring internationally. Our platform ensures compliance with Japanese labor laws, keeps accurate leave balances, processes leave requests seamlessly and generates detailed leave reports. By partnering with Gloroots, you can concentrate on growing your business while we manage the complexities of employee leave administration. Contact us to learn how Gloroots can simplify your HR processes and enhance your operations in Japan.

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