The foreigners' Consultation Section of the Ibaraki International Association begins its 4th year in 1999. We thank our readers and visitors for their trust and support. We wish you all a Happy New Year and a pleasant stay in Japan. This month's installment deals with Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance.
Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance (Rosaihoken) applies to injuries sustained during work as well as work-related illnesses and accidents which occur while commuting to work.
Persons covered: In Japan, if one signs an employment contract with an employer, he/she is automatically considered to be insured under Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance. This is applicable regardless of whether one is a foreigner or works only part-time. The regulations issued by the Labor Standards Bureau of the Labor Ministry state: It is important for employers and foreigners to know that this law applies to all employees regardless of their nationality or visa status.
Persons not covered: If one comes to Japan on a trainee's visa (Kenshu Bisa), one is usually engaged in practical activities alongside Japanese workers. However, this is regarded as on-the-job training, not as work, and therefore Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance does not apply.
Under this insurance plan, one can be treated for covered ailments free at designated hospitals. It also mandates various compensations, including partial salary payment during absence from work due to illness or injuries. For a full list of benefits, one should check with one's employer.
Points of Caution
There have been cases reported, especially regarding small companies, in which people sustained injuries while at work, but their compensation claims were rejected by their employers. These workers were told by their employers that they could not make claims because they had not joined the Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance program. This is not true, since all workers are automatically included in the program the moment they are employed. Even if an employer has not paid the premium, his workers are still entitled to the benefits of this program. Application for this compensation insurance can be made at the nearest Labor Standard Bureau office.
The free Legal Consultation days for January at the Ibaraki International Association are the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays (12th and 26th). Feel free to call at 029-244-3811.
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