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#7 Holidays and Days Off

Basic Principle

Employers are required to provide their workers with at least one day off per week, as mandated by Article 35, Paragraph 1 of the Labor Standards Law.

The specific starting day of the week for calculating this weekly period can be defined in the workplace regulations. In the absence of such a specification, a week is generally understood to run from Sunday to Saturday.


As an alternative to the standard one-day-off-per-week rule, employers can opt for a system called "Modified Holiday System (変形休日制; Henkei kyūjitsusei)" that provides at least four days off over a four-week period (Article 35, Paragraph 2).

When implementing this Modified Holiday System, the workplace regulations must clearly define the four-week period and the minimum of four days off to be provided within this period.

Statutory and Non-Statutory Holidays

The minimum required days off are referred to as statutory holidays. Any additional days off provided beyond these are considered non-statutory holidays.

For example, in a workplace with a two-day weekend system (Saturday and Sunday off), one of these days will be the statutory holiday. It is necessary to specifically identify which day is the statutory holiday due to regulations on overtime and premium wages for work on these days, as discussed later.

Signing a 36 Agreement

To have employees work on statutory holidays, a "36 Agreement (36協定, Saburoku kyōtei)" must be signed in advance and submitted to the relevant Labor Standards Inspection Office. Work on holidays can only be assigned within the limits set by the 36 Agreement.

Payment of Premium Wages for Holiday Work

If employees work on statutory holidays, they must be paid a premium wage calculated at a rate of at least 35% above the regular wage.

For work on non-statutory holidays, while there is no requirement for a holiday premium wage, if the work exceeds the standard 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week, the excess hours must be paid as overtime at a rate of at least 25% above the regular wage.


If you are considering expanding your business to Japan, please contact Quantum Accounting Inc. for a free consultation during the planning phase or general consultation (available in both English and Japanese). Quantum Accounting's professionals are experts in accounting, tax, legal, and labor issues. Our goal is to provide you with a one-stop professional firm for all the services you need to expand your business into Japan. We are confident that we can help you.

Please contact us for further information from here.

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