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Japan: Industrial relations

Original and updating authors: Koki Yanagisawa and Erino Yoneda

Summary

  • Employees are entitled to form and join trade unions, and are protected from discrimination on trade union grounds, while properly constituted and officially registered trade unions have various protections and entitlements. (See Trade unions)
  • Employers are obliged to bargain collectively in good faith, on request, with trade unions on working conditions and other matters relating to the treatment of employees who are union members. (See Collective bargaining and agreements)
  • A "labour-management agreement" with a trade union representing the majority of employees at the workplace, or, where no such union exists, a representative of the majority of employees at the workplace, is required in order for an employer to introduce various practices, such as overtime working. (See Labour-management agreements)
  • On certain issues, employers are required by statute to consult any trade union representing the majority of employees at the workplace or, where no such union exists, a representative of the majority of employees at the workplace. (See Informing and consulting employees - general)
  • Employers planning redundancies observe various information and consultation procedures with employees and, where present, trade unions. (See Informing and consulting prior to redundancies)
  • No specific information and consultation requirements apply in the event of business transfers, except in the case of company splits/demergers. (See Informing and consulting prior to transfers)
  • Employees have a right to strike, and employees and trade unions cannot be subject to criminal penalty or civil liability for taking "justifiable" industrial action. (See Industrial action)