Understanding Overtime Allowance System in Japan

    Many people around the world have a dream to live in Japan. It’s understandable because Japan has tons of interesting things to offer; the traditional/pop culture, the beautiful nature, the well-designed environment and the advanced transportation system. Everything that “on paper” can make our life easier.

Unlike living, working in Japanese company can be hard for many people, especially with its culture to work in a long working hour. On the other hand, this has helped the country to turn into an economic superpower. But we should not forget the other impact;

Japan’s low birthrate, more employees that are falling ill from stress, or worse; death through overwork.

While Japan is currently stepping up its drive to pressure companies into abandoning a culture of long working hours.

We have to understand (and aware) about the overtime allowance system in case we have to work overtime in a Japanese company, why? It’s our right as the employees.

So, what is the overtime?  

Overtime is considered any pre-authorized work performed during a given work period that exceeds your work’s contract. (It would be vary, usually from 9:00 – 18:00, 10:00 – 17:00, or 10:00 – 18:00)

In general, if employees work over 40 hours a week, (unless they work in the management position) company is expected to pay overtime allowance to the employees.

Here are the limits of overtime work in Japan:

  • 5 Hours per day
  • 45 Hours per month
  • 360 Hours per year

And here are the overtime pay rate:

  • Overtime (over 8 hours a day): +25% (additional from hourly base salary)
  • Night time (22:00-05:00): +25%
  • Weekends and Holidays: +35%
  • Night time (continue from overtime): +50%
  • Holiday (continue from night time): +60%


Normally, you work from 9:00 – 18:00, but that day you worked until 23:00. That means, you have worked overtime from 18:00 – 23:00, which is 5 hours. So your allowance according to overtime pay rate above should be:

1,25 x 4 (your allowance from 18:00 – 22:00) + 1,5 x 1 (your allowance from 22:00 – 23:00)

Not that complicated, right?

After all, working overtime is not recommended, unless there is the super important thing that needs to be done that day.

You might still get the money, but will you still get the other things that Japan has to offer if you always spend your majority of time in the office?

Stay balance, my friend.



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