Employer’s Guide on the Handling of Infectious Diseases

Employer’s Guide on the Handling of Infectious Diseases

After the Japanese Government designated the new coronavirus (“COVID-19”) as a “designated infectious disease” on January 28, 2020, an employee who is affected by the coronavirus can be legally suspended from work by the request from prefectural governors.
As a result of this law, the new coronavirus infected employee is not considered as absent from work due to employer reasons, and therefore the employer is not obligated to pay the absent worker a leave allowance (Labor Standards Act, Article 26).

However when an employer asks an employee who is not yet confirmed to be infected with the virus to stay at home for safety reasons, the reason of the absence is likely deemed as “a reason attributable to the employer” and therefore the employer must pay the employee a leave allowance.

Unlike the new coronavirus, other infectious disease patients such as the seasonal flu, Norovirus, and Hepatitis A patients are not legally prohibited from working. To restrict such infected employees from working, the employer needs to include such paragraph in their employment rules and also is required to pay them leave allowances.

Please refer to the links below for the coronavirus-related subsidies available currently as well as general information (Japanese only):

General Information for Employers and Employees
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000164708_00001.html#hatarakukata

Employment Adjustment Subsidy
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/12602000/000603338.pdf

Child Care Subsidy
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000605827.pdf

Telework Subsidy
https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/tosei/hodohappyo/press/2020/03/05/27.html

General FAQs
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/dengue_fever_qa_00007.html

If you decide to apply for a subsidy and you require information from us, please do not hesitate to ask us.