Work in Japan Advice Board

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4. Common Issues

The period from resignation after receiving a job offer until joining the new company tends to be a time when a lot of trouble occurs. Here we will talk about problem situations and how to deal with them so that you can smoothly finish negotiations for retirement from your previous company and finalize the preparations for joining the new company.

Letter of resignation rejected!

If your current employer is in a shortage of personnel or if you were covering a position that is difficult to fill, the employer may reject your letter of resignation.
However, if resignation is not permitted despite informing the employer of your intention to resign it might be considered an "illegal actions" on the side of the company.

Under the Civil Code you have the right to resign two weeks after submitting your letter of resignation. However, if you do not comply with the company's regulations regarding the resignation procedures, even if you are declined resignation it will be not deemed an illegal action on the company's side. Confirm the resignation regulations of your current company and make sure to follow the prescribed procedures. If you have done everything according to the regulations and are still being denied resignation, be prepared to take a firm stance.

After the result of the medical examination, the new employer cancelled the offer of employment.

Generally, results of the medical examination cannot be used as a basis for deciding whether to employ a candidate, as this might be seen as occupational discrimination. * In case of certain occupational categories, such as vehicle drivers, it is possible to use health information as a basis for judgment. However, if the candidate has lied about or hidden facts regarding their health during the interview, the employer may cancel the job offer. If you are asked about your health condition, make sure to answer honestly.

My current employer promised me a salary raise if I stayed

At the time of the resignation negotiations, your current employer may ask you to stay.
They might promise to give you a salary raise and better work conditions, but keep in mind that these promises might not nescessarily be true.
If the new company you would like to join is more appealing to you, take that opportunity without looking back.
Current employers might try to convince you that it is a great risk to change jobs and will do whatever it takes to keep you in their company. Many people decide to stay after going through the resignation negotiations.
In this case, it would be better to consider the "risk of staying your company" rather than the "risk of leaving the company".
A company that can raise your salary at this time is actually revealing that you were not given fair evaluation for your work until now. The company that uses these methods is usually concerned about the work that needs to be taken care of right away and might start looking for your replacement very soon. Being given good short-term conditions, does not mean that they will last. You should make careful decisions from a long-term perspective.

I want to change the start date at my new company!

There may be some unavoidable circumstances that will delay your start at your new company, such as the handover activitites taking longer than expected. When negotiating a chage of the start date, make sure to let the employer know that you made all the efforts to start at the first agreed date.

Depending on the company, the training period might be adjusted together with other employees who are to join the company on the same day.
Changing the start date might cause a significant burden on your new company, so it is better not to change it unless absolutely nescessary. Do not change the start date for personal reasons such as travel or visiting your home country, as this may cause you to lose some credibility and trust even before starting your new job.

I am not allowed to use my paid holidays!

The right to take paid leave is stipulated in the Labor Standards Law (Article 39 of the Labor Standards Law). This applies regardless of whether the paid holidays are stated in the Company Regulations. If the company denies an employee the right to use his paid leave before resignation, it could be considered an illegal act.

However, it is a violation of good manners to take your paid leave if this causes problems in business operations at your current company. If you wish to use your paid leave at the time of your resignation, proceed as follows:
① Confirm how many paid holiday days you have left.
② Complete handover activities and propose the dates when you would like to use up your paid leave.

It is often best to try and take your paid leave while not causing inconvenience to your current employer.

I was harassed by my current employer because of my new job.

Japanese can be very narrow minded. Employers can be unsupportive when employees find a better opportunity in an different field. And even more so if it is in the same industry. People generally tent to spread more negative rumors than positive ones, so others around might feel negative about those who change jobs.

After informing your current company about your resignation, many will ask you about your next company and what you will be doing next. The best thing to do here would be to answer "I'll tell you after things have settled down". Also, to avoid a negative feelings regarding your resignation, pay utmost care to the timing and resignation negotiations.