General Union Victory at Canadian Embassy on Kyodo News

A former Canadian Embassy worker in Tokyo has successfully retroactively enrolled in Japan’s employment insurance scheme, securing previously denied benefits.

The union member who took childcare leave was not able to access benefits due to the embassy’s failure to enroll her, but after the public security office intervened, the employer back enrolled the member, and the member was able to get part of her benefits. The embassy has also committed itself to enrolling all domestically employed staff. While diplomatic officials are not eligible to be enrolled, it is now clear that domestically hired embassy staff must be enrolled and the Embassy of Canada’s assertion of “sovereign immunity” as a defence against labour law obligations holds no legal merit.”

We believe that this decision is important as it emphasizes the importance of adhering to Japanese laws even for foreign embassies and sets a potential precedent for other locally hired foreign embassy employees in Japan.

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