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Q_iconI have hired foreign nationals at a Japanese corporation or branch office. Please tell me the points I need to take note of when creating their employment contracts and the matters to be stated in the contract.

A_dark_iconWhen entering into an employment contract with a foreign national, it is important to decide the contract details clearly and specifically. The following content should at least be stated in the employment contract.

  • ① Employment Type
  • ② Employment Period
  • ③ Work Location
  • ④ Contents of Work
  • ⑤ Working Hours (Start and end of business hours)
  • ⑥ Break Time
  • ⑦ Specified Working Hours
  • ⑧ Working Days and Holidays
  • ⑨ Paid Leave
  • ⑩ Wages and Benefits
  • ⑪ Grounds for Dismissal

★ Explanation ★

1. Points to note when entering into an employment contract with a foreign national

employment-contractWhen entering into a contract of employment, it is important to carefully and clearly determine the contents of the contract. If the contents are vague, it will be disadvantageous when you run into misunderstandings with the employed foreign nationals.

For example, when you ask foreign nationals to do tasks, say cleaning, that are not written in the employment contract, they may not be able to do that because it was not written in the job details in the employment contract. However, it is also difficult to describe in the employment contract all the work that they will do after joining the company.

In this way, with regard to parts that can be understood by Japanese people to some extent, it may start with vague contract contents, but foreign nationals are not like that. It is especially important to be clear about working hours, vacations and overtime work.

2. Examples of what should be stated in the employment contract with foreign employees

The employment contract signed with foreign employees should at least include the following:

(1) Employment Status

It is necessary to describe the form of employment. Full-time employees, contract employees, part-time workers, etc. are generally described.

(2) Employment Period

In the case of part-time workers or contract workers, the contract period will be stated. In the case of full-time employees, it will be stated as “no period”. It may also be defined as to when the contract will be renewed.

(3) Work Location

There is also a need to specify where the work will take place. If there is a possibility of a job transfer, it may be written a little more extensively, such as “the work location designated by the head office and the company”.

(4) Contents of Work

In general, it can be described as “interpretation, translation work, etc.” but in employment contracts with foreign employees, it is necessary to define it in more detail. For example, it will be described as “interpretation, translation, English contract checking, assistance to the department, and other support duties within one’s scope of work for other departments”.

(5) Working Hours (Start and end of business hours)

List it in a way such as “from 9:00 to 18:00 (changes due to business circumstances possible)”

(6) Break Time

Write it as “60 minutes”, etc.

(7) Work Hours Beyond Specified Period

If there is overtime work, indicate it as “Possible”.

(8)Working Days and Holidays

Describe it as “Working day: Basically Monday-Friday (changes due to business circumstances possible), Holidays: Saturday-Sunday/ Holidays (changes due to business circumstances possible), Summer Vacations, New Year holidays, and other holidays defined by the company (special leave for weddings and funerals, etc.).

(9) Paid Leave

For those stated in the company’s rules of employment, state that they “Apply in accordance with the company’s rules of employment”.

(10) Wages and Benefits

List the “monthly pay”, “bonus”, “annual salary amount”, “payroll accounting period”, “payment method”, “salary revision”, “overtime allowance”, “settlement on retirement”, “transportation expenses”, “worker’s accident insurance/employment insurance/health insurance/welfare pension plan”, “severance pay”, etc.

(11) Grounds for Dismissal

It should be stated that failure to renew their residence status due to negligence is a valid ground for dismissal. As a sponsoring company, it is impossible to continue hiring foreign workers who cannot renew their work visas. Trouble may also arise if they are dismissed for reasons not specified in their contract (such as wanting to work remotely even when he returns to his home country, etc.).

(12) Others

Write about “mandatory retirement”, “relocation”, “voluntary retirement”, “prohibition of a side business”, etc.