Hire employees and contractors in Japan

Remote’s guide to employing in Japan.

  • Capital city

    Tokyo

  • Currency

    Japanese yen
    (¥, JPY)

  • Population size

    125,620,000
    (est. 2021)

  • Languages spoken

    Japanese

  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Entity in 2022

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

Japan has enjoyed a long, rich history spanning around 2,000 years, and has given rise to a wonderful cultural heritage featuring samurai, ninjas, calligraphy, origami, sushi, ramen, and of course, anime!

Armed with a $5.5 trillion GDP, Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, built on powerful technology, automotive, tourism, and telecoms industries. And with unusually low unemployment figures, a welcoming population, and growing cultural diversity, Japan has maintained a solid place on the top of the world’s most desirable places to do business.

  • Capital city

    Tokyo

  • Currency

    Japanese yen
    (¥, JPY)

  • Languages spoken

    Japanese

  • Population size

    125,620,000 (est. 2021)

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    87.77 (2021)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    5%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    0.7% (2019)

Grow your team in Japan with Remote

Remote currently offers contractor payment and management services in Japan. We are busy building our own entity in the country to provide you with best possible employment solutions for your employees.

Risks
of misclassification

Japan, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently and there are risks associated with misclassification.

Employing in Japan

Japanese labor laws are outlined across two regulations, namely:

  • The Japanese Civil Code, and
  • The Labor Standards Act of 1947

Both of these define provisions for employee protections and workers’ rights which apply to Japan’s workforce of 68.7 million.

Employees in Japan enjoy protections against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and race.

Common questions that could come up during the hiring process include the minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Japan.

Public holidays

Date
Holiday Name
Extra information
Saturday, January 1, 2022New Year's Day
Monday, January 3, 2022Bank Holiday*Saturday
Monday, January 10, 2022Coming of Age Day
Friday, February 11, 2022National Foundation day
Wednesday, February 23, 2022Emperor's Birthday
Monday, March 21, 2022Vernal Equinox Day
Friday, April 29, 2022Showa day
Tuesday, May 3, 2022Constitution day
Wednesday, May 4, 2022Green day
Thursday, May 5, 2022Children's day
Monday, July 18, 2022Marine day
Thursday, August 11, 2022Mountain day
Monday, September 19, 2022Old age day
Friday, September 23, 2022Autumn equinox day
Monday, October 10, 2022Sports day
Thursday, November 3, 2022Culture day
Wednesday, November 23, 2022Labor Thanks giving day
Saturday, December 31, 2022Bank Holiday
Sunday, January 1, 2023New year's day
Monday, January 2, 2023Subsidary holiday of New year's day
Tuesday, January 3, 2023Bank Holiday

Minimum Wage

In Japan, minimum wage rates are set regionally in line with local costs of living and range from ¥714 ($6.46) to ¥932 ($8.43) per hour. Japan’s hourly minimum wage depends on the region. The highest being 985 Yen in Tokyo and the lowest being 761 Yen in Kagoshima.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Japan fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 20 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

Competitive benefits package in Japan

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in Japan are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

Taxes in Japan

Learn how employment taxes affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Japan.

  • Employer

    • 9.15% - Pension contribution

    • 4.935% - Health Insurance Contribution (or 5.83% if 40 years or older)

    • 0.6% - Unemployment insurance

    • 0.25% - 8.8% - Work injury

    • ~0.36% - Family allowance

  • Employee

    • 9.15% - Pension contribution

    • 4.935% - Health insurance contribution

    • 0.3% - Unemployment insurance

  • Personal income tax rates

    • 5% - Up to ¥1.95M ($17,629.67)

    • 10% - ¥1.95 – ¥3.3M ($17,629.67 - $29,834.82)

    • 20% - ¥3.3M – ¥6.95M ($29,834.82 - $59,579.24)

    • 23% - ¥6.95M – ¥9M ($59,579.24 - $81,367.70)

    • 33% - ¥9M – ¥18M ($81,367.70 – 162,735.41)

    • 40% - ¥18M – ¥40M ($162,735.41 - $361,634.24)

    • 45% - Over ¥40M (Over $361,634.24)

Types of leave

Paid time off

Employees earn paid vacation days based on their tenure, starting after they’ve spent six months working with an employer, and can accrue up to two years of paid vacation.

  • 6 months: 10 days paid vacation
  • 1.5 years: 11 days paid vacation
  • 2.5 years: 12 days paid vacation
  • 3.5 years: 14 days paid vacation
  • 4.5 years: 16 days paid vacation
  • 5.5 years: 18 days paid vacation
  • 6.5 years: 20 days paid vacation
  • Over 6.5 years: 20 days paid vacation

Public holidays

There are 16 public holidays in Japan and although it’s not obligatory for employers to pay employees on public holidays, it’s widely practiced.

Sick days

Japanese employees are not explicitly entitled to any paid leave entitlement but can use their paid vacation in lieu of sick leave.

Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity starting six months before delivery and lasting until eight months, and are compensated at a rate equivalent to 2/3 of their normal salary, paid out by the labor insurance office.

Paternity/Parental leave

New parents can embark on parental leave once maternity leave ends, until their child turns one, or one year and two months, if both partners opt for the parental leave.

Both parents are entitled to tax-exempt parental leave benefits equivalent to 2/3 of their normal wages, paid by the government labor insurance office. Male employees who have worked for the same employer for at least a year are entitled to 12 months paid leave.

Other leave

  • Bereavement leave: employees are entitled to five days of paid leave for the death of any 1st-degree relative, three days off for 2nd-degree relatives, and two days off for the death of 3rd-degree relatives.
  • Hospitalization leave: Parents can take up to three unpaid months off annually to nurse sick or injured relatives.
  • Menstruation leave: Employers are obligated to provide unpaid time off for female employees who opt out of work due to their health condition during their menstrual period. This is statutory leave mandated by government legislation.
  • Civil duty leave: Workers can take unpaid time off work to vote, perform jury duty, or attend to their civil obligations.

Employment termination

Termination process

In Japan, terminating employee contracts can be demanding, and employees can dispute and only accept to be let go with a severance package equivalent to a month’s pay for every year worked.

Notice period

Employers are required to provide 30 days advance notice or compensate the employee in lieu of the mandatory notice period.

Severance pay

There are no requirements for employers to offer severance packages under Japanese labor laws.

Probation periods

Probation periods last anywhere from three to six months.

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