Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance (officially known as Employment Insurance, koyou hoken・雇用保険; aka shitsugyou hoken・失業保険) is a benefit that provides an allowance to an unemployed worker for general living expenses while seeking stable employment. Enrollment requires that you work for 20 hours or more per week.

Employment Insurance is administered by the Public Employment Security Office ("Hello Work"). You qualify for this if you are fired or made redundant, if the company doesn't renew your contract, or if you leave the job at the end of your contract. If you voluntarily leave your job before the end of your contract, you don't automatically qualify. Companies (except small businesses in fishery, forestry and agriculture) must enroll workers on this scheme. Unfortunately many companies evade their obligations in this regard. Subcontract workers and undocumented workers are not eligible for enrollment on this scheme. The worker and the employer each pay a contribution. The worker's contribution is 0.3% of salary, which is deducted from each month's salary payment. The employer's premium is 0.6% (as of Apr 2017).


Application Procedure For Basic Allowance

Get a "letter of separation" (rishokuhyo・離職票) from your company. This will detail the period for which you have participated in unemployment insurance, your wages, and the reason for leaving your job. You take the letter of separation to your local public employment security office and once you have applied to search for work, you may receive acknowledgment of your unemployed status. You should keep in mind that if you choose to quit your company you might have to wait for between one and three months before receiving any allowance. How long you can receive the allowance for depends on your age and how long you have participated in the system, but it varies as below.

Unemployment Benefit Allowance

Voluntary Resignation or Retirement

Age Length of Employment determines Duration of Allowance in Days
less than 10 years 10 - 19 years more than 20 years
64 or less 90 120 150

Dismissal, Bankruptcy or Redundancy

Age Length of Employment determines Duration of Allowance in Days
less than 1 year 1 - 4 years 5 - 9 years 10 - 19 years more than 20 years
29 or less 90 90 120 180 -
30 to 34 90 180 210 240
35 to 44 90 180 240 270
45 to 59 180 240 270 330
60 to 64 150 180 210 240

The main unemployment allowances are:

Basic Allowance (Kihon Teate・基本手当) In case of unemployment, to enable the unemployed seek stable employment. According to the worker's age and years of service, 50-80 percent (%) of his/her daily wage will be provided for 90 to 330 days.

Technical Skill Learning Allowance (Gino Shutoku Teate・技能習得手当) Allowance provided for the learning of technical skills by the unemployed. To undertake training, permission (a public occupation training order) must be received from the public employment offices' general manager.

Lodging Allowance (Kishuku Teate・寄宿手当) Provided when it is necessary for the unemployed to live independently from their supporting family to undertake job training.

Job Starters' Allowance (Saishushoku Teate・再就職手当) Provided when the unemployed finds stable employment at an early stage of receiving the Basic Allowance. Note that certain requirements must be met.

Education and Training Allowance (Kyoiku Kunren Kyufukin・教育訓練給付金) Provided to increase labor skills, under certain conditions 40 percent of the cost of education and training can be provided. (max. 200,000 yen)

Childcare Leave Allowance (Ikuji Kyugyo Kyufukin・育児休業給付金) Provided to enable the employee to take leave from work in order to take care of a child aged under 12 months.

Nursing Leave Allowance (Kaigo Kyugyou Kyufukin 介護休業給付金) Provided to enable an employee to take leave from work in order to care of a family member of members. The employer and employee jointly pay the premium in proportion to the employee's wage. Generally the employee pays the sum of 4/1000 (in case of the forestry-fishery industry, brewery and construction industries its 5/1000) of the wage.



Even in the case that your company was not participating in the unemployment system, you can enter up to two years retroactively. You can receive unemployment benefits for the period you are unemployed in proportion to your wages when you were employed. To receive the allowance you must have been contributing to the scheme for more than six months during the year before you became unemployed.

Additional information