Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has formulated and published the
"Employment Guidelines" pursuant to the Law on National Strategic
Special Zone (effective as of 1st April, 2014).
The Guidelines was established to help start-up companies and foreign owned
global enterprises that are at market entry into National Strategic Special
Zone to understand Japanese employment practices and make appropriate labor
agreements as well as rules of employment.
Details of the Guidelines are divided into the following sections;
(1) Analysis and categorization of court cases concerning labor issue on
start-up companies or foreign owned enterprises in Japan
(2) Commentary on employment regulation and practice
(3) Advisory on drafting a sample labor agreement and labor
management for companies supposed to make labor agreements
for a definite term
As for section (3) above, the Guidelines provides that employers shall
consider matters including but not limited to the following, in case they
are supposed to hire an employee who can think on his feet as a manager
or considerably high-end specialist with a very good salary;
・ Set a short probation period (up to three months subject to extension
for up to three months on mutual agreement)
・ Make a job description and expected job performance as concretely as
・ Make a provision for the employer’s right of termination of labor
agreement in case employee's performance won't have met
・ During a probation period, make performance review on a regular
basis and report the outcome to the employee
The Guidelines has a significant meaning that government publicly admitted
lawful and effective terms under a labor agreement and rules of employment
regarding prevention of labor disputes that may arise between an employee
and foreign owned enterprise.
Courts would be difficult to decide in favor of an employee in case where
an employer has acted in accordance with the Guidelines. For example, when
lawfulness of termination of a labor agreement is challenged by an employee
such employer as has been obedient to the above advisory (3) would be advantageous.
Considering importance of the Guidelines, it can be said that foreign owned
enterprises had better review again their sample of labor agreements and
rules of employment according to the Guidelines, whether they are at market
entry into National Strategic Special Zone or not.