Section 4. Human Resource Management

4.2 Recruitment

4.2.1 Recruiting methods

Japan has a government-run employment agency known as "Hello Work" with offices throughout Japan. Hello Work offers free support for people looking for work and companies looking for workers; all industries are covered by the agency. Similarly, some regional public organizations and education institutions such as universities provide employment services for free. There are also many privately-run employment agencies; these come in several types, including executive search-type agencies, as well as those which build up a database of registered potential employees and employers, and where the agency collects fees on a contingency basis (i.e., when someone from their database is successfully employed with a company). Japan also has a wide range of newspapers, magazines (e.g., job-transfer magazines, industry-specific magazines, etc.), and Internet websites through which companies can advertise their job opportunities and vacancies.

4.2.2 Legislation on recruitment

As far as labor contracts are concerned, the principle of freedom of contract applies to the hiring of workers, and allows an employer to decide what kinds of workers and how many to hire. There are, however, some restrictions. For instance, under the Equal Employment Opportunities Act, employers must afford equal opportunities regardless of sex when recruiting and hiring workers. For that reason, employers may not specify male or female employees when advertising situations vacant, with the exception of a few specific positions.

Under the Employment Measures Act, employers must also afford equal opportunities regardless of the age when recruiting and hiring workers, and employers are, with some exceptions, prohibited from specifying the age limit in their recruitment and hiring.

Selection criteria should be based on whether the applicant has the aptitude and ability necessary for performing the job in question. Personal matters unrelated to aptitude and ability (such as an applicant’s nationality, family, personal beliefs and other matters) should not be used as application conditions or hiring standards.

4.2.3 Indication of working condition

Companies must indicate the working conditions when recruiting workers through newspapers, magazines or the internet or when posting job offerings to “Hello Work” or private employment agencies. At that time, the companies must indicate the following conditions in writing.

  • Job description
  • The period of the agreement (or where there are no provisions pertaining to period, the fact that there are no provisions pertaining to term).
  • Workplace
  • Matters pertaining to start and finish times, work in excess of regular working hours, breaks, days off and leaves.
  • Wages
  • Matter pertaining to an employee’s health insurance, an employee’s pension, Industrial accident compensation insurance and Employment insurance

If the working conditions of the labor contract are different from the conditions indicated in the initial job-offering, the employer must indicate the difference. The difference should be indicated by a document through which a jobseeker can compare the difference, or by highlighting or underlining the changes in working conditions made in the document when concluding a labor contract(see also 4.3.1).Also, the following working conditions must be indicated in writing.

  • Probation period (see also 4.3.3)
  • Name of the person that offered the job
  • If the employer recruits employees for worker dispatching undertakings, the fact that the employer does so (see also 4.3.9 (1))

Section4: Table of Contents


Section4: Documents businesses are required to submit to authorities

Section Documents Where documents are listed within the URL Reference The competent
authorities's URL
4-3a Notice of EmploymentExternal site: a new window will open See 全体版pdf Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-3b Employment Agreement ReferencePDF File(227KB)
4-5 Notification of Agreement on Overtime work Working on Holidays Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-6 Rules of Employment ReferencePDF File(1.9MB) Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-9a Notification of Acquisition of Employment Insurance Qualification ReferencePDF File(1.1MB) Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-9b Notification of the Acquisition of Health insurance Qualification Employees' Pension Insurance Qualification ReferencePDF File(245KB) Japan Pension ServicesExternal site: a new window will open
4-9c Labor insurance Estimated insurance premiums / Increased estimated insurance premiums / Final insurance premiums Declaration ReferencePDF File(919KB) Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-9d Basic amount for calculation of monthly remuneration of person insured Health insurance Employees' pension insurance ReferencePDF File(216KB) Japan Pension ServicesExternal site: a new window will open
4-9e Notification of Dependent Under Health Insurance (Change) ReferencePDF File(731KB) Japan Pension ServicesExternal site: a new window will open
4-9f Notification of the Establishment of a Labor Insurance Relationship ReferencePDF File(1.1MB) Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-9g Notice of establishment of the business place to which employment insurance is applied ReferencePDF File(520KB) Ministry of Health,
Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
4-9h Notice of New Application Health insurance Welfare pension insurance ReferencePDF File(273KB) Japan Pension ServicesExternal site: a new window will open
4-9i Declaration of Tax Exemption for Salaried Employees (Change)External site: a new window will open See the format National Tax AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
4-10 Income Tax Withholding Certificate ReferencePDF File(309KB) National Tax AgencyExternal site: a new window will open

Materials listed as ‘Reference’ contain samples of documents regarding registration, visa, taxation, personnel and labor matters that are necessary when a foreign company establishes a corporation or other entity in Japan. These documents are not published by competent authorities and therefore are not official. For those who are going through the official procedures, please obtain the latest official documents from the competent authorities and related bodies or consult a person who specializes in advising on such information and procedures.

The information contained in this documents should be used at the reader’s independent discretion. While JETRO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides, no responsibility is accepted by JETRO for any loss or damage incurred as a result of actions based on the information provided in these documents or provided by the external links listed on these pages.

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