lifestyle

Taking bereavement leave as a foreign worker in Japan

5 Comments
By Hilary Keyes

If you plan on staying for the long term in Japan, sadly, there’s a chance that you will have to say your last goodbyes to a loved one living overseas at some point. That’s when it will be really important to know how and when you can take bereavement leave that may or may not be included in your annual leave in Japan.

When you factor in time difference, distance, daily life struggles of being in a foreign country and the death of a loved one, the physical and mental toll can be all too unbearable. At times like that, you might struggle to think of what your next steps may be. If you are facing aging parents or family that are in ill health, it will be far better for your own peace of mind and sense of security if you find out where you stand in terms of bereavement leave sooner rather than when you get that call.

Your right to bereavement leave in Japan

According to Japan’s labor laws, employers must provide kibiki kyuka (忌引休暇) or “condolence leave” to full-time employees. If you are not working full time, as in you’re on a short-term contract, working part-time, as a dispatch, or essentially not a seishain (正社員, full time employee), technically your company does not have to provide you with any leave at all.

But if you’re a full-time employee of a company based in Japan, you will be granted a certain number of days for bereavement leave based on your relationship to the deceased.

For a spouse, child, or parent, you are typically granted up to five days leave. For a grandparent, sibling, or grandchild, three days. And for any other third-degree relative (for example, an aunt, uncle, cousins, etc), you may have up to two days. For anyone not related to you (such as a family friend or even a pet), your company is not required to give you any leave whatsoever. In this case, you can use your paid or non-paid vacation to take a day or two off.

What to do when the leave is not enough

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

5 Comments
Login to comment

Unfortunately, I had to take a condolence leave last year. My company was very supportive, I think they gave me one week off, refunded a part of the travel expenses, and a small monetary gift for condolence

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To date I've been 'lucky' and had good employers in times of bereavement. Condolence leave, condolence money, and the colleagues did a whip-round of incense money that was bigger than usual, presumably as as they realized the added cost of international travel.

I recognize that I am privileged as both a full-employee and heterosexual. The government is pushing strongly to reduce the differences between seishain and fixed-contract employees, but is blind to those unable to have their marriages legally recognized. Same sex spouses do not get the family leave in most companies when they lose their spouse or in-laws.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Anyone who would put their job over taking a leave even if not granted surely doesn't care about their dead loved one.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

If you are not working full time, as in you’re on a short-term contract, working part-time, as a dispatch, or essentially not a seishain (正社員, full time employee), technically your company does not have to provide you with any leave at all.

Which means most foreigners here are SOL

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Arturo Jamilla

Gross. If your company doesn't provide you with leave and you have to support your family then it is what it is. I bet it doesn't help the grieving process to then immediately have to start looking for a new job.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites