Quitting Time - Part One

Quitting Time - Part One

A reader recently asked me some questions about procedures when it comes time to leave a job. I thought these might be interesting to share. As usual, I will make a disclaimer that I am not a legal professional, and if you decide to take a certain course of action based on my comments below, you need to get professional advice first before making any decisions.

Q: What is the minimum notice an employee has to give when quitting?

TL: The minimum given in the Labor Law is two weeks. However, if you have a contract that stipulates a longer term, and especially if you are in a senior (management) position, then you need to follow the terms of the contract. If you don't the company may have grounds to seek redress in court. In all likelihood though, unless you're a director or the CEO, they won't win, but I'm sure you'd prefer to avoid the cost and time of having to defend yourself.

Q: I had over 20 paid holidays remaining when I announced my resignation. Can paid holidays be part of the notice period? Do/must companies 'pay out' these holidays?

TL: Yes, you simply give the required notice, then apply for holidays to fit within the termination date. That said, if there is a business need. the company can refuse to give you the time off, and would instead buy out the time. Get that in writing, so that you don't have to take them to court to get them to pay. Does that mean that companies have to buy out your holidays? If the company work regulations say they will, then yes, they have to. However, most do not cover this contingency and in such cases they can simply elect to have you take the time off. It's their choice.

Q: What documents do I have to officially give to the company when resigning?

TL: Only a written, signed letter. Unless your contract specifies something else.

Q: Do I have to show my "Gensen Choshu-hyo" (Statement of Income) from my previous employer to my next employer? I prefer not to show it, so that they don't see my previous salary.

TL: Each new employer needs a newcomer's "Gensen Choshu-hyo" in order to calculate income tax following on from the previous job, and also Shakai Hoken - for tax reporting to the Tax Office at year end. So you pretty much have to show it.

Q: Is a past employer obligated to give me a copy of my Gensen Choshu-hyo? Also, if I ask for another copy, are they obligated to provide it? And can they charge me for it?

TL: Yes, they have to provide you with one copy at least. If you left on bad terms, I suppose they could refuse to do a second one, in which case you would have to get a notarized copy of the first one yourself. No, they cannot charge for this form.