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Compensation & Benefits in JpJapan.






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Japanese yen (¥) (JPY)

Understanding the required compensation and benefits in Japan is a vital aspect of employment law compliance. You must pay employees at least the minimum wage to maintain compliance, but employers often go above and beyond to stay competitive in a thriving market.

Japan compensation laws

Japan’s compensation laws vary by region or city, and employee’s minimum wage entitlements will be determined by the place they reside in. For example, Tokyo’s minimum wage is one of the highest in the nation.

Employees in Japan are paid on a monthly cycle, customarily on the 25th of each month. Wages are determined in consideration of a number of factors, such as education level, experience, location, and the industry. Promotions are typically based on a mixture of experience and ability.

The nation does not have a mandated 13th-month bonus. However, sales employees often earn commission payments.

Guaranteed benefits in Japan

Employers in Japan rely heavily on benefits to draw in prospective talent. Guaranteed benefits include a paid annual leave, which increases with the employee’s duration of service:

  • After 6 months — 10 days of paid annual leave
  • After 1.5 years — 11 days of paid annual leave
  • After 2.5 years — 12 days of paid annual leave
  • After 3.5 years — 14 days of paid annual leave
  • After 4.5 years — 16 days of paid annual leave
  • After 5.5 years — 18 days of paid annual leave
  • After 6.5 years or more — 20 days of paid annual leave

All employees receive excellent healthcare coverage under Japan’s social security system, so many employers do not provide supplemental health benefits. The law requires employers to provide annual physicals and checkups to all employees, as well as stress checkups if necessary due to the type of work. In general, employers should budget about 10% to 15% on top of an employee’s salary for benefits.

Japan benefits management

If you choose to handle your own benefits management in Japan, you need to have a keen understanding of the nation’s guaranteed benefits and market norm. Research what other businesses provide and decide what is best for your business and employees. The entire process involves a significant amount of time and travel to Japan.

Restrictions for benefits and compensation

Japan’s compensation laws vary by city, so it is crucial to stay up to date on regulations in your area. You also need to comply with all tax laws to avoid costly fines or other penalties.

The country also mandates strict maternity leave restrictions. Pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave within 6 weeks of their expected birth date and then another 8 weeks after the birth. Additionally, a pregnant employee cannot return to work within 8 weeks of giving birth unless they have a desire to. In that case, they may resume work 6 weeks after giving birth with a doctor’s certification.

Japan competitive benefits planning

Your company’s expansion to a new country will require careful consideration. A significant part of your success is determined by your talent, and with a well-designed benefits package, your company can attract and retain dedicated workers. Your Japan employee benefits plan will have to consider legal requirements like pension contributions while competing with market standards.

Japan employee benefits plan

The benefits you provide to your employees can make all the difference when it comes to legal compliance and employee retention. While there are some provisions you must provide by law, adding supplemental perks can encourage people to apply for your vacancies and boost morale among your existing team. A strong benefits plan shows workers you value their wellbeing and their contribution to your company vision.

When choosing supplemental provisions, you should consider the sort of assistance your potential hires may need. For example, if your business is based in an urban area, you may provide a commuting stipend for getting to work by train. Other options include:

  • Housing allowances
  • Flexible working hours
  • Holiday bonuses
  • Telecommuting opportunities

Required benefits

The labor laws in Japan describe a series of required benefits every employer must provide for their workers. These requirements include:

  • Pension contributions
  • Health insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Annual health checks
  • Paid annual leave
  • Maternity leave

Statutory annual leave entitlements differ depending on employees’ years of service. Maternity leave must be a minimum of 14 weeks — 6 weeks before delivery and 8 weeks after. Payment is not required to be made directly by the employer unless stipulated in the Work Rules, though a health insurance scheme may cover a portion of an employee’s salary while on leave.

Designing employee benefits plans in Japan

When you design your benefits plan for expansion, you need to consider your company’s resources and your employees’ needs and expectations. To find the balance between these factors, it’s essential to do your research.

1. Establish company goals and resources.

This initial step in designing your benefits plan is about understanding your abilities as a company. You should look into current earnings and expenses and determine how much funding you can allocate to benefits.

You should also think about your company goals and how your benefits plan can help you achieve them. For example, you may offer fewer supplemental benefits to have a more extensive team. But if retention is your priority, you might opt for more benefits and a small core team.

2. Analyze employee needs and expectations.

Job seekers are looking for employers that meet their needs through compensation and benefits. Potential hires will compare employers against each other within the job market to determine which benefits are standard and which are hard to find.

Market research about other employers and employee needs can help you determine which benefits to offer. You can survey workers in the area to find what they’re looking for or research companies in your industry to see what applicant expectations may be.

3. Design your plan.

With the information you’ve learned about the industry, your workers, and your company, you can make informed decisions about your benefits plan. Start by allocating resources to the required benefits and use your remaining budget to include supplemental provisions based on the information you gathered.

Average cost of employee benefits

The cost of benefits will vary from company to company since every business offers different provisions. Several factors can affect the benefits a company offers, including location, industry, and size.

Creating a budget for your spending is the best way to keep benefits expenses under control. If you set a percentage of your revenue as your budget, you can scale your spending with your company’s growth.

How to calculate benefits

Calculations will vary as much as costs will. Japan’s government does provide some guidance for pension calculations, but rates are subject to change from one fiscal year to the next.

How are employee benefits taxed in Japan?

Japan has national and local tax laws that employers need to follow. For international companies, the primary tax concerns include public welfare pension contributions, individual income tax for employees in Japan, and health insurance.

Employee medical benefits

Japan’s health insurance scheme covers most forms of medical care, though private health insurance plans are still available. Employers may choose to provide monthly allowances to cover care beyond what’s required.

Partner with G-P to build your everywhere workforce.

As your partner in global expansion, G-P will handle payroll and compliance, so you can focus on growing your team and scaling your business. Our market-leading Global Growth Platform™ is powered by the first fully customizable suite of global employment products and backed by the industry’s largest team of in-country HR and legal experts to streamline payroll management and help you offer competitive, compliant local benefits.

Learn more about our platform and request a proposal today.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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