Apr 21, 2010

[A] To the teachers and staff

(1) Replacement Payment of Unpaid Wages
Geos will go into liquidation with the wages and retirement allowance unpaid. 80% of all these unpaid wages, including the last pay packet which was delayed and left unpaid, retirement allowance, wages for the stand-by period after the company officially files for bankruptcy (until you are officially dismissed or leave for another job,) will be paid by “Replacement Payment Scheme for Unpaid Wages,” a public fund run by Japan Labour Health and Welfare Organisation. (Bonuses are not covered though.) 100% of the delayed and unpaid wages and 60% of the wages for the stand-by period will be taken into account and 80% of the total (which makes 80% of the unpaid wages and 48% of the stand-by wages) will be provided from the fund.
All the workers, including those who are not covered by the employment insurance, will be covered by this Replacement Payment Scheme.
The first step for now is to wait for the certificate to be sent from the court / receiver. This certificate is drawn up by the receiver after determining how much each employee is owed, then sent out to every employee in a few months. The employee sends in the certificate along with the application form to the fund, then the money will be paid into your account in about a month at the latest.

Any progress / development of the situation will be reported on this website.

The receiver will send all the documents necessary for the application to your address registered in the list of employees at Geos, but if you move, they cannot be delivered. If you think you may move out of your present address or leave the country, please leave your name, employee number, branch, (old) address, new address, e-mail address and phone number with the General Union. We will make sure the receiver will have your latest address even after the Geos head office is closed down.

(2) Employment Insurance
In claiming the unemployment benefit, if you have left your job for your own reasons, you will have to wait for 3 months before they start providing the benefit. However, if it is because of the reasons on the part of employer, such as “delayed payment of wages for 2 months running” or “forced resignation,” the waiting period is only 1 week. In this case, “bankruptcy” would mean that all resignations from now on would be “for employer’s reasons,” therefore, you should be able to qualify to receive the unemployment benefit after a week. (although actual payment would not be for a month. In the case that the “rishokuhyo” (form for unemployment insurance) is not issued, you could take your pay slips to “hello work” and have it drawn up there, but for now, immediately ask for one at the head office, or after the head office is closed down, ask the receiver.

(3) Visa
Foreign employees with the visa expiration coming up soon can apply for renewal from 2 months ahead. Please hurry and put the application in. Or hurry up and find a new job! Even if you did not make it in time, you could obtain a temporary extension permit from the Immigration Office to look for another job. At the time of NOVA bankruptcy, General Union put in a request to the Ministry of Justice and got a promise that they would be “flexible in providing visa wherever possible.”

(4) Employment Insurance / Social Insurance
Please check your documents and status on employment insurance and social insurance once more. If you are not enrolled on them, you may apply for “confirmation of status” so that you can be enrolled retroactively. If you are not on social insurance and going to join Kokumin Hoken (National Health Insurance) after leaving your job, some municipalities backdate it for 2 years and demand the previous 2 years’ premiums. If you get a new job with social insurance enrollment, they will not ask for any premiums from the past.

(5) Join General Union!
In the case of bankruptcy, the General Union will provide information to everybody, regardless of whether they are union members or not. If you support what the Union is doing, please do consider joining the Union. The General Union is not just for foreign teachers and Japanese staff. We cover other companies in the language industry, schools and colleges, we organize the ALTs, too. You can keep your membership after changing your job, even if it is in a different industry. At present, we offer special discount on union dues for teachers and staff going through difficulties in the present situation.