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Japan labor body to step up support for foreigners, freelancers

31 Comments

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Support? They should start by not making them pay into the pension scam.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Good for them to do this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am on the fence on the freelancers who are expecting the companies they associate with for giving them benefits.

They are in effect private contractors, and as such, should be like anyone else here who owns their own business, be responsible for their own insurance and pension payments. If need be, they should be charging their customers appropriately to cover those costs.

If they are unable then to attract the customers they need to survive, in their CHOSEN line of work, the by all means find another job!

If they are dedicated to one specific company, and provide a service as a sub-contracted employee, then of course the company they are working for should be responsible as well. However, if they are working for different companies or are on their own.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Start by scrapping the "mandatory" pension siphoning.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

@dothehustle.AMEN! I found out as a foreigner living in Japan if I ever leave I only get 10% back in what I paid. BUT, I would have to live outside Japan for 360 days, fly back to Japan to do the paperwork in person, and then go back home. Sounds like a scam for sure!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

@Drako - Yep! You’ve got that right. It’s no different for Japanese either. My Japanese Mrs has paid over 60 grand into that scam, but her entitlement is only 13 grand. It becomes an extra tax. When you add this to the health insurance, city tax, sales tax and income tax, you are being taxed over 50% of your salary. TIJ!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

When you add this to the health insurance, city tax, sales tax and income tax, you are being taxed over 50% of your salary.

If you are being taxed at over 50% of your salary, you are making well over 40,00,000 yen per year! As the top tax bracket is 45%

Under 1,950,000 yen5%

Over 1,950,000 yen or under 3,300,000 yen10%

Over 3,300,000 yen or under 6,950,000 yen20%

Over 6,950,000 yen or under 9,000,000 yen23%

Over 9,000,000 yen or under 18,000,000 yen33%

Over 18,000,000 yen or under 40,000,000 yen40%

Over 40,000,000 yen45%

On the other hand, if you are like the rest of us, working along at basically average income, your numbers are overly exaggerated!

https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/setting_up/section3/page7.html

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Non-Japanese workers need a lot of protection from employers because 'it's Japanese' to not ask questions and let your company exploit you. One woman at work has missed out on so much overtime pay and time off because the Japanese staff in charge would just say she has to do what they say, oh and the manager said he'd kick her out of her company-arranged housing if she joined a union. I've also lost so much money from companies just deciding to change the terms of my contract on a whim, it's crazy

11 ( +11 / -0 )

They are in effect private contractors, and as such, should be like anyone else here who owns their own business, be responsible for their own insurance and pension payments.

@Yubaru

Most people are not "freelancers" by choice. It is what the system allows them. An example is my wife's sister. She has worked at Lexus for over 2 years. Full time. But she is considered a freelancer and has been on 3 month contracts. Her title changes continuously but her job functions remain the same. Because of her contract, she isn't entitled to benefits. Also, because her title keeps changing, she isn't entitled to be a full time employee after 3 years of working at the same company because of position changes.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

im self employed but will never join a union. What for??

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Yubaru - You seem to be a little blind to the facts.

income tax 7-10%

city tax (¥15,000-¥20,000 p/m) Lets call that 10%

health insurance 10%

sales tax 10%

pension 15% - with 80% non refundable.

I hope this helps you see where 50% of your salary is going.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What does the pension system (which the posters above are rabbiting on about) have to do with unionizing freelancers?

@Yabaru

your numbers are overly exaggerated!

I believe the poster is including pension and healthcare costs, which in many countries like my own, are paid thru taxes, whereas Japan bills you for separately (which is kind of sneaky, if you ask me).

An OECD study found the Japanese on average pay more money to the govt than any other member state.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yep, we are all being scammed bigtime...….

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The National Union of General Workers (NUGW) or 全国一般労働組合 has provided non-Japanese the abilty to organize for nearly 30 years. HQ is in Shiba.

http://www.generalunion.org/?lang=en

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would strongly recommend every worker to join a Labour Union. My former employer decided, after 18 years of one-year contracts, to shut down my section and throw me on the scrap heap the day before Abe's Five Year Rule would have made me eligible to the same protections of Permanent status they give to Japanese staff on Day One.

Without my Labour Union, I would have had no idea what to do. With my union, we're suing the b@stards both in Court and via Labour Commission, and looking at a very hefty payout.

Seriously - join a union.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@JeffRee...I believe the poster is including pension and healthcare costs, which in many countries like my own, are paid thru taxes, whereas Japan bills you for separately (which is kind of sneaky, if you ask me).

Their manner of computing the tax is way off the mark. I have been living here for well on 40 years and paying into the pension and health schemes all along and there is ZERO chance that 50% of my gross income is taken away in taxes.

The prefectural and city tax are grouped together, as are the unemployment, health, and pension as well, under the social welfare insurance scheme. Anyone who thinks that they are being charged 50% of their gross pay in taxes here is really off their rocker. A simple search will provide answers.

People misunderstand that ALL are considered "tax" in Japanese the health insurance is called the "kenkohoken ZEI" ...zei is short for zeikin or tax, as well as the others as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What does the pension system (which the posters above are rabbiting on about) have to do with unionizing freelancers?

Protecting the worker. Its what unions are for.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Yubaru - You seem to be a little blind to the facts. income tax 7-10% city tax (¥15,000-¥20,000 p/m) Lets call that 10% health insurance 10% sales tax 10% pension 15% - with 80% non refundable. I hope this helps you see where 50% of your salary is going

But I will let you THINK you know what you are talking about even when you dont! I have been here over 35 years years and getting a pay stub all along and NEVER have I had 50% taken out of my pay!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

JeffLee - What does the pension system (which the posters above are rabbiting on about) have to do with unionizing freelancers?

Because it is mandatory for all workers in Japan. It is structured at 15% of one's salary. However, 80% of it is non-refundable. This breaks down to a further 13.5% tax on salaries. Foreign workers are made to pay into this scam even though they have no intention of receiving a Japanese pension. The unionising of freelance foreign workers should address this issue and stop these thieves stealing an extra 13% of foreigner's salaries.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All I know is that contracted employees employed by a contractor get the shaft. They are promised so many things but get few in return and a lot of unpaid time. For example not everything is disclosed by the contractor's client. The employee shows up to work on a schedule say 8:30 to 5:30. A few times the employees is asked that overtime will be asked by the client but not often and the contract employee will be compensated. However in reality this overtime becomes a daily routine and soon part of the job as requested by the client. The company informs the contracted employee if the overtime is charged for every time accrued then they will be asked to be replaced. Sound about right. By the time anyone realizes it, the hours are not 8:30 to 5:30 but leaving at 7:pm with no pay for 1.5 hrs weekly which is about 7.5 hrs free not paid to the contractor or contracted employee. The companies employees get their benefits but to get into a company as a real employee is not as easy as most people think. Also most national holidays are not paid to a contracted employee so the contracted employee is not paid for that day off as the company employees are and has to make up the time by losing a day off instead of 2 days a week off. This is a very unfair system.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I will believe it when I see it, that is something that really backs up and fights for the Gaijin employee, otherwise, its all just meaningless crap.

Been to court, worked for free, been fired illegally, experienced all of it.

No rights whatsoever. Its only when you exhaust yourself through the system of the rydoshoukan or whatever its called now (labor rights office) and then they send many letters to the employer to pay you, that you can take it higher. The employer will usually ignore the letters, because he knows there is nothing they can do to him. Even when I took it to court, the "arbitrator" recommended I drop it because the shacho was considerate and given me, the lowly gaijin, a job. We refused that, then it went to a judge of sorts, who forced the guy to pay.

From my experience, and having observed other Japanese suffer also, there are few rights available, just lots of smoke and talk to divert you or make you give up.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Without my Labour Union, I would have had no idea what to do. With my union, we're suing the b@stards both in Court and via Labour Commission, and looking at a very hefty payout.

Seriously - join a union.

wished I would of know that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Someone who goes to the same company every day and works alongside people on regular contracts but on worse conditions than the regular employees is not a "freelancer". They are "casual labour".

According to wiki, a freelancer is "self-employed".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer

A "self-employed" person handles their own tax affairs. It is not a meaningless arbitrary expression. The money they are paid by a client is a fee, not a salary. If the client is subtracting the 10% gensenzei income tax, by definition that sum of money must be a salary and worker is not being treated as someone self-employed. The salary of someone genuinely self-employed is what they pay themself after expenses, with such expenses being tax-deductible. If you are genuinely self-employed, the reduction in tax exposure through expenses can mean a higher standard of living relative to the money you bring in as fees. The causally employed do not get this. They are taxed as regular workers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don’t want access to a union, I want the government to close loopholes that dispatch Alt companies and eikawas use to get around paying foreign workers what they are worth.

Most dispatch Alts at junior high schools and elementary schools don’t get their health insurance paid for despite being on school grounds for well over 40 hours-dispatch companies claim periods without lessons ‘don’t count’, lunch also isn’t covered. This also means no maternity or paternity leave. Dispatch companies get round the law by dividing up the company into smaller units that can claim to be too small to follow labour laws. A way round this would be to encourage schools to offer direct hire contracts more frequently to alts, at the moment they are like gold dust to find.

eikawas(especially gaba) are even worse. If you are sexually harassed it’s your fault. No invitation to the company Christmas party, no paid training, if you don’t reach a 4.7 out of 5 average you are treated as a pariah..

please do something for your foreign workers Shinzo!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pls tell me the name of the union, address and the correct person to contact, i want to join.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't be contractor, except if you are chosing your rules from employer.

So many gaijin to be (in)famously deceived like old Goshn, whatever you brought to company, your loyalty or your competence.

On my side, I would have rejected any position as a local and not being expatriate.

Go to America or UK for Australia or Singapour, etc. to get wealthy then go to Japan if you are sure about your retirement.

I know so many foolish people who won't have any retirement pension because working in Japan !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alt companies and eikawas use to get around paying foreign workers what they are worth.

"Worth"? Describe that please?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

wished I would of know that.

I'm biting my tongue here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Taran Tan Kitaoka - Just google "Rengo Union"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A for the money that you "lose" from your pension when you leave...

A good labour union will inform you that you should be able to transfer the credits to your home country, if they gave signed an agreement with Japan. The US does but the UK just doesn't double tax you.

More information can be searched out through Google or any other search engine. It is only a scam if you are ignorant of the rules or are not from a member country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So I'm a freelancer and do the blue tax return. What I pay into pension and health insurance I use as a deduction among a ton of other things such as my phone bill, rent, internet, gas, tolls, and more. Taxes are already very forgiving for the self employed. I would join a union still, but I would never recommend anyone become a regular employee in Japan if they have the chance to jump ship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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