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2014年2月14日 金曜日

Treatment of Annual Paid Vacation in Germany and Japan

Germany is famous for its advanced holiday system in the world.  The public perception is that all annual paid vacations are taken by right by workers in Germany, but when we look at the annual paid vacations taken in Japan, we see that the total of 17.7 days of paid holidays annually are given by companies yearly, and that the number of days workers take holidays is 8.3 days, at a rate of 46.6%.  Paid holidays are limited to 2 years time in Japan, thus annual paid vacations that could not be taken in that year are rolled over to the following year, and annual paid vacations not taken in 2 years time are relinquished.

Due to the differences in Labor Laws in Germany and in Japan, and particularly the timing when the paid holidays are relinquished, such differences may cause troubles in treating annual paid vacation between head office in Germany and its Japanese entity in Japan.


Employers consider the desires of the workers in Germany in setting the timing for taking holidays (Article 7.1 of the Federal Vacation Law).  This means that the employer has the right to determine the timing for taking holidays.  (However, when there is an employee representative, the employer must determine this with the agreement of the representative.)



Employers must grant the time the worker requests a holiday in Japan (Article 39 of the Labor Standards Law).  This leads to a system where the employee asks for the permission from supervisors and takes a paid holiday when they would like.


The right to request paid holidays in Japan is valid for a 2-year period.  The right to request as specified in Article 115 of the Labor Standards Law is valid even when "annual paid vacations are relinquished at the end of March of the following year" is specified in this way in the Rules of Employment contrary to provision in question.  This is because Article 13 specifies "Labor agreement prescribing working conditions that do not reach the standards set forth in the law shall be invalid for that portion.  The invalidated portion shall be as per the standards specified in this law in this instance."

Thus, it is critical that companies establish employment contracts and Rules of Employment in compliance with Japan's Labor Standards Law.  Disputes between the employer and employee have also increased in recent years as societal awareness of observance of the law has risen in Japan.

投稿者 株式会社マーシャル・コンサルティング

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