Japan Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Japan.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


Both full-time and part-time workers in Japan are entitled to annual leave, assuming they have six months service time with their current employer, and they have been present for 80% of their scheduled working hours.

From six months onwards, full-time employees get 10 days of annual leave, rising with more service time accrued. Part-time employees get a smaller amount, which also rises by service time.

Annual Leave for Full-Time Employees

Full-time employees in Japan get increasingly more annual leave correlating with their service time with their employer. The following table shows how much annual leave you get:

Years of ServiceAnnual Leave Entitlement
0.5 years10 days
1.5 years11 days
2.5 years12 days
3.5 years14 days
4.5 years16 days
5.5 years18 days
6.5+ years20 days

Annual Leave for Part-Time Employees

Annual leave for part-time employees varies based on both service time and number of days worked per week. The leave entitlement starts from 0.5 years (six months) of service time, and increases as service time increases (not necessarily every year).

See the full spread of annual leave entitlement per number of working days/service time in the table below:

Number of Working DaysYears of ServiceAnnual Leave Entitlement

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

Annual leave cannot be cashed out, except when an employee leaves their job (in which case, any unused annual leave must be paid out).

Annual leave can be carried forward for up to two years, though employers should ensure that employees take at least five days each year.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Japan

Sick leave is not entitled to workers by law in Japan. Employees typically use their annual leave to cover if they are ill and unable to work.

Employees are entitled to paid time off for work-related illness or injury, however, paid at 60% of the employee’s regular pay, plus medical costs.

Japan Public Holidays

There are 16 public holidays in Japan:

January 1New Year’s Day 
Second Monday in JanuaryComing of Age Day
February 11National Foundation Day 
February 23Emperor’s Birthday
March 21Vernal Equinox
April 29Showa Day
May 3Constitution Memorial Day
May 4Greenery Day
May 5Children’s Day
Third Monday in JulyMarine Day
August 11Mountain Day
Third Monday of SeptemberRespect for the Aged Day
Varies (usually September 22, 23 or 24)Autumnal Equinox
Second Monday of OctoberHealth and Sports Day
November 3 Culture Day
November 23Labor Thanksgiving Day

Holiday Pay

Employees are entitled to a day off for public holidays, but employers are not legally obliged to pay their employees for public holidays. Many employers choose to do so regardless.

Parental Leave in Japan (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

Employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave, including 6 weeks before birth and 8 weeks after birth.

After this time, mothers can take up to 52 weeks of childcare leave, up until their child turns 2.

Employers do not have to pay for maternity leave (though some may choose to do so) or childcare leave. Employees may be eligible for maternity benefits from Japanese social security. If granted, this provides 67% of the employee’s regular wages for the first 6 months, and 50% for the remainder.

Paternity Leave

Workers are entitled to 4 weeks of paternity leave, taken within 8 weeks of the child’s birth. This is paid by social security, at 67% of their regular salary.

Fathers are also entitled to up to 52 weeks of childcare leave.

Bereavement Leave in Japan

Full-time employees are entitled to bereavement leave, of 5 days for a parent, child, or spouse, 3 days for a sibling, grandparent, or grandchild and 2 days for third degree relatives, such as a cousin, an uncle or an aunt.

Part-time employees are not entitled to bereavement leave by law.

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Employees in Japan get the following additional leave types:

Official Resources

timeline illustration

Flamingo is a leave management solution built for modern teams.

No more cluttered spreadsheets and manual data entry. Manage your entire team's leave, directly from Slack, and speed up your leave management workflow.

Learn more Sign Up Free