Legal Services on Japanese Laws

COVID-19 Related Information

Issues of Employment 4: salary payment

Does an employer need to pay salary to its employee who is hospitalized or requested to stay at home by infection of COVID-19 and becomes unable to come to work?

COVID-19 is designated as a "designated infectious disease" by the Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases. Therefore, the prefectural governor can place restrictions on employment in certain occupations for patients of this infectious disease and those who carry pathogens of this infectious disease without showing its symptoms, or have the patients admitted to the designated medical institutions for infectious diseases.

Therefore, if an employee is infected with COVID-19, the employee will be required to take leave to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Unless such leave is attributable to the employer, the employer is not obliged to pay salary or leave allowance other than paid leave, unless otherwise specified by the employment contract or working rules for such leave.

If an employee is infected with COVID-19 on the job, the employee can receive leave compensation as an occupational accident under the Worker's Compensation Insurance Act. However, it may be difficult to receive worker's compensation insurance benefit based on the association between the work and the infection, unless the route of infection is specifically revealed, or the employee was engaged in any works being considered at high risk for infection that are works in an environment where many infections are revealed, such as medical service workers, or works in an environment where the employee has frequent close contacts with clients, such as retailing, transportation operations for public transportation systems, nursing and childcare services.

Even in such a case, if the employee is insured by health insurance, it may be possible for the employee to receive accident and sickness benefits when the employee was absent from work for four consecutive days or more.

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