Hiring the Wrong Person – Letting Employees Go in Japan

March 1, 2023|Energy Jobs in Japan

Regardless of the stringency of the interview process, the effectiveness of aptitude tests and the quality of references from a candidate, it’s still possible to make the wrong hire. There’s only so much that can be discerned through the interview, and sometimes those who have the hard skills and track record simply don’t adjust into the speed, style or culture of your business.

To make matters more complicated, Japan’s energy workforce is now facing a major transition. This was traditionally a sector run by large corporations and utilities. But over the last decade it has fragmented into a number of smaller domestic and international players. Many highly-qualified professionals have spent their entire career in one company, which makes gathering reference checks troublesome and poses challenges for people to adjust to a new corporate culture and way of working mid-career.

What’s more, letting people go in Japan is no easy feat. So here are the key points to keep in mind before and after things come to such a conclusion.

Japanese labor law is highly protective of employees, making it more difficult to fire them in comparison to the U.S. and other markets. All employment contracts are superseded by Japanese Labour Law, which can effectively mute clauses in the contract. A key example of this is probation periods. Typically, we see a three- or six- month probation period in a full-time contract; however, under law, once an employee has been employed for a period of two weeks, they are protected by labor law, and the contract cannot be instantly terminated as is often stipulated.

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