Don’t let your employer pull a fast one on you!

Dec 3, 2009

Using any other private insurance plan as your sole provider fails to meet your legal obligations.


Those employed at workplaces with five or more employees should be paying into Shakai Hoken or Shigaku Kyosai.


What management doesn’t want you to know.


Kokumin Kenko/Nenkin Hoken was not designed to cover employed persons, but rather those with no income or fixed income (i.e. unemployed, self-employed). Click here to see what’s not covered by Kokumin Kenko/Nenkin Hoken.

If you work, you should be enrolled in Shakai Hoken/Shigaku Kyosai and your employer must pay 50% of your premiums. End of story!

One thing we want all our members to understand is that the Health Insurance Law (Article 3) and the Employee Pension Insurance Law (Article 12) both dictate enrolment in Shakai Hoken of most employees at “applicable workplaces” regard-less of work hours.

There are only 8 exceptions stipulated in the above mentioned laws:

  1. sailors
  2. those employed less than two months
  3. those employed at workplaces without fixed addresses
  4. seasonal workers
  5. employees of enterprises that will be in existence less than six months
  6. those employed by the National Health Insurance Union
  7. those over 75 years old
  8. those authorized by the director of the Social Insurance Agency (SIA) or by a health insurance union or mutual aid society.


Three-quarters rule. Not true.

The claim that part-timers qualify if they work 3/4 or more of the hours of a full-timer is a misrepresentation of the 1980 and 2005 SIA directives. These internal directives addressed to local SIA offices are operational guidelines for enforcement of the laws, NOT enrollment criteria.

Imagine a stretch of highway with an 80kph speed limit and a police officer who sets the radar to 90kph. This means the officer will pull over anyone who exceeds 90kph but not those who drive between 80kph and 90khp. It does not mean that it is legal to drive 85kph.

Similarly the SIA directives provide guidelines for local agents to order employers to enroll their employees. They do not say it is legal to not enroll employees below the 3/4 threshold. Finally, the directives have no legal force and are not referred to in the law.

Employers use the internal SIA enforcement guidelines as if they were enrollment criteria. Management must pay half the premium so naturally their purpose is to save labour costs regardless of the impact on its teachers.

Unfortunately, the SIA has turned a blind eye and in some cases openly collaborated with management in their illegal non-enrollment of employees. Let’s be clear and unafraid to say the truth – Many companies are evading the law (Article 3 of Health Insurance Law) by not enrolling all their workers.


This information is meant only as a guide. Please contact the union before talking to your employer.