Labour and employment—Japan—Q&A guide

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Labour and employment—Japan—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?
  • 2. Is there any law prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment? If so, what categories are regulated under the law?
  • 3. What are the primary government agencies or other entities responsible for the enforcement of employment statutes and regulations?
  • 4. Is there any legislation mandating or allowing the establishment of employees’ representatives in the workplace?
  • 5. What are their powers?
  • 6. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against background checks on applicants? Does it make a difference if an employer conducts its own checks or hires a third party?
  • 7. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against requiring a medical examination as a condition of employment?
  • 8. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against drug and alcohol testing of applicants?
  • 9. Are there any legal requirements to give preference in hiring to, or not to discriminate against, particular people or groups of people?
  • More...

Labour and employment—Japan—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to labour and employment in Japan published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: April 2020).

Authors: TMI Associates—Motoi Fujii; Tomoko Narita

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?

Japan’s Constitution sets out the basic principles of labour law: the right and duty of all people to work, and the rights of workers to organise and to bargain and act collectively. The labour statutes originate from these principles and are established as special rules of the civil, criminal and administrative laws. Court precedents and interpretations and guidelines issued by the administrative authorities also play important roles in practice.

With respect to individual labour relations, the Labour Standards Act (LSA) has long been the most important statute. It sets out minimum standards for labour conditions as well as regulatory provisions through administrative supervision, and criminal penalties may be imposed for violations of it.

In addition, the Labour Contract Act (LCA), which sets out comprehensive rules regarding employment (from hiring to termination of employment), has been in force since 1 March 2008. The LCA provides that the employment relationship is determined by an agreement between the employee and the employer based on equal footing, and that the agreement shall be reasonable and considerate to the equilibrium between the

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