Even though you might think that you know your rights after reading this, we still don’t recommend that you just go into the office and demand paid leave. It can take careful negotiation not to upset small employers – and you might even get (illegally) dismissed!
8 Facts About Paid Annual Leave
1. All workers – regardless of how many hours they work – are entitled to paid annual flexible leave that they can basically use whenever they want. Some people get cheated out of these at companies like Gaba and Nova where they illegally classify teachers as “Independent Contractors”.
2. If you work 5 or 6 days per week, you are entitled to between 10 and 20 days depending upon the length of your employment.
3. If you work part-time from 1 to 6 days per week, you are entitled to between 1 to 20 days of leave per year.
4. Unless a company policy provides them early, you become eligible for your first paid leave at 6 months of employment. You become eligible again in exactly a year’s time from that (e.g. 0.5 -> 1.5 -> 2.5).
5. Some companies set holidays for their employees. This can be done legally, but many companies actually do it illegally. Even if paid leave is set by the company in periods when they close down for periods like Golden Week or Obon, you must still receive 5 FLEXIBLE days to use as you desire – even during term time! There are pros and cons to using them during term time, however, so think about it carefully.
6. Breaks of (for example) two weeks or a month between contracts does not mean you are ineligible for paid leave.
7. While a company may have an internal rule that an employee should give several months notice before the use of paid leave, this is not in the law. Unless you are planning to take several weeks of leave, a few weeks notice should be fine for a day or two.
8. Paid sick leave is not legally required in Japan. Some companies give it as a perk, while most will expect you to use paid leave for sick days.