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What to do if you lose your job

If you suddenly find yourself unemployed… If your employer fails to pay your wages when due… If your employer went bankrupt and you are owed wages…
In principle, if an employee is to be terminated, the employer must inform the employee (not only regular employees but also contract and part-time workers, as well as those on their probationary period who have worked more than 14 days) at least 30 days prior, or pay the employee 30 days' wages (average wage for that period) or more. The latter is known as "payment in lieu of notice." The employee may bill the company directly for the payment due. If the employer refuses to discuss the issue in person, calculate the unpaid amount and demand payment of the amount by content-certified mail.(Kaiko yokoku teate in Japanese)
If the employer still refuses to pay, report the incident to the Labor Standards Inspection Office. Bring all documents you believe are relevant, including a pay stub, a copy of your time card, your employment contract, a copy of your employer's company regulations, a copy of the content-certified mail you sent to your employer, etc. In addition, you should also compile and bring an overview of your negotiations with your employer.
The Japan Labor Health and Welfare Organization pays workers unpaid wages, within certain limits, on behalf of employers in cases where the employer has gone bankrupt. The amount is 80% of the unpaid wages within the range of \880,000-\2.96 million, depending on the age of the worker at the time they left the company.

For detailed inquiries

There are several branches of the Labor Standards Inspection Office. The Office you should contact differs depending on the address of your former employer.

If your employer's address is in Nada-ku or Chuo-ku, contact the Kobe
Higashi Labor Standards Inspection Office at:
Kobe Regional Joint Government Building, 3F
29 Kaigan-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0024
TEL: 078-332-5353 
If your employer's address is in Hyogo-ku, Nagata-ku, Suma-ku, Tarumi-ku,
Kita-ku, or Nishi-ku, contact the Kobe Nishi Labor Standards Inspection
Office at:
10-1-5 Mizuki-dori, Hyogo-ku, Kobe 652-0802
TEL: 078-576-1831 
If your employer's address is in Higashinada-ku,
contact the Nishinomiya Labor Standards Inspection Office at:
Nishinomiya Regional Joint Government Building, 7-35 Hama-cho,
Nishinomiya 662-0942
TEL: 0798-26-3733 

Assistance in a foreign language

  • Advisory Services for Foreign Workers, Inspection Division, Hyogo Labor Bureau

    Kobe Crystal Tower 16F, 1-1-3 Higashi Kawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0044
    TEL: 078-367-9151 Available languages: Chinese, in principle Tuesday, Wednesday (AM9:00-PM5:00)
  • Labor Issues Consultation Section, Foreign Residents' Information Center, Hyogo International Association

    Kobe Crystal Tower 6F, 1-1-3 Higashi Kawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0044
    TEL: 078-382-2052 Available languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese

To collect unemployment benefits…

In order to collect unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have had unemployment insurance,
  • You must be looking for other work, and
  • In principle, you must have worked 12 months or more for the past two years (or if you were involuntarily laid off, six months or more out of the past one year). Your employment need not have been with a single employer for this period.

For further details, inquire with Hello Work.

If you did not have unemployment insurance…

Hello Work will instruct your employer to provide you with unemployment insurance coverage. Go to the Hello Work branch with jurisdiction in the area where you live or where your company is located and obtain a Confirmation of Qualification for Insurance Coverage. If you have already left the company, bring a pay stub or other proof that you worked for the company.

For detailed inquiries

Kobe Employment Services Desk for Foreigners


1-3-1 Aioi-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
TEL: 078-362-4570
Available languages: Chinese, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese

Looking for work?

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The translation is based on the data available as of September, 2016. Please note that new systems, system changes etc. may have been introduced after this date. Responsibility for the linked websites lies with their creators. Kobe City accepts no responsibility for their content etc.