Career Guide

Why Choose Full-Time Jobs in Japan And Why Not

Why Choose Full-Time Jobs in Japan And Why Not

Same as other developed countries in the world, besides Regular Employment, there are many other employment types in Japan, including part-time, contract, dispatched, etc. Which are classified as Non-regular Employment.Though there is no explicit definition of Regular Employee by law, it is generally considered as an employee who is hired directly by his or her employer without a predetermined period of employment, and works for scheduled full-time hours. In other words, Regular Employment can be summarized as "open-ended, full-time, direct employment" and it is also simply called full-time jobs in Japan.

A Non-regular Employee is an employee who does not meet one of the above three conditions for Regular Employment.According to the Employment Status Survey in 2007, among the 53.27 million total employees surveyed, 64.4% were regular employees, and 35.6% were non-regular employees. To know why, let's understand the advantages and disadvantages of regular employment and the differences with non-regular employment first.

Advantages and disadvantages of full-time jobs (regular employment)

Before choosing to be a regular employee or not, try to learn about the benefits and drawbacks, and make a better decision considering your expected lifestyle.

Advantages of full-time Jobs

Higher wage and bonus

The wage differential between regular and non-regular employment has been noticed particularly in recent years. There were surveys targeting business establishments showing that the wage standard for a non-regular employee performing the same duties as regular employees ranges from 60% to 90% of a regular employee on average.

In addition to wages, regular employees can also receive various benefits from companies, like bonuses, retirement allowances and so on, and may be rewarded incentives with outcomes in work. Also their wages will be raised as their consecutive years of work increase in most companies.

Consequently, regular employees tend to get higher salary and bonus than non-regular employees.

Better social insurance and welfare

A regular employee is covered under public social insurance systems including workers compensation, unemployment, employee health insurance and employee pension insurance. In the case of a non-regular employee, though the former two insurances are covered the same, for health and pension, he or she may be ineligible to the employee insurance system, in which half of the premium is shared by the company, and have to join the national insurance system, in which all of the premium must be paid by his or her own.

To qualify for the employee insurance system, several conditions need to be met by a non-regular employee, like working over 20 hours per week and some others.

In addition, various welfare is provided to regular employees such as transportation expenses, housing allowances or employee dormitories, health examination assistance, travel assistance, etc. Depending on the company. Some companies also pay for regular employees' external training and qualification acquisition with the purpose of skill improvement.

Regular employees get better social insurance and welfare and income than non-regular employees, which leads to a higher social credibility making them more likely to apply for loans at banks when purchasing houses.

Disadvantages of full-time Jobs

Of course there are also disadvantages for regular employment.

Involuntary transfer and change

In principle, a regular employee can't refuse a transfer or change, no matter whether he or she likes the assignment destination or not, or his or her children need to transfer schools together. In the case of transferring overseas, life environments may change dramatically.

Frequent overtime work and holiday shift

As regular employees are expected to take more responsibilities, when lack of labor force, they will be the first one to be relied on which causes frequent overtime as a result.Also, depending on the business situations and customer circumstances, it may be inevitable to work on holidays.

Non-regular employments and differences with regular employment

Considering the three conditions of regular employment:"open-ended, full-time, direct employment", there can be seven different combinations of employment patterns that qualify a worker as a non-regular employee, including "open-ended, full-time, indirect", "open-ended, part-time, direct", "open-ended, part-time, indirect", "fixed-term, full-time, direct", "fixed-term, full-time, indirect", "fixed-term, part-time, direct", and "fixed-term, part-time, indirect".

Basically, a non-regular employment gets higher freedom of changing to another job or company. We are going to talk about the following 3 types.

Contract employees

A contract employee refers to an employee who is hired directly by his or her employer with a predetermined period of employment usually as 3 years, and works for scheduled full-time hours, that is to say "relatively long fixed-term, full-time, direct employment". A contract employee may be not eligible to some welfare, and have less chance for advancement because of a predetermined period.

Dispatched workers

A dispatched worker refers to a worker who is hired indirectly by another dispatch agency, with or without a predetermined period of employment, and works for scheduled full-time hours or part-time hours, that is to say "both fixed-term and open-ended, full- or part-time, indirect employment".

Though dispatchers are covered with insurances and welfare by the dispatch agency, the welfare tends to be less than their regular counterparts, so as the chances for wage-up and advancement.

Part-time workers

A part-time worker refers to a worker who is hired directly by his or her employer, with or without a predetermined period of employment, and works for part-time hours, that is to say "both fixed-term and open-ended, part-time, direct employment". Most part-time workers can't join employee health and pension insurance, and are paid a much lower wage.

Unemployment workers

There are also some people commuting to and working at a company just like regular employees but without employed as follows.


Some companies have an internship system in which trainees, usually students, are provided with opportunities to participate in the company's actual work usually for less than 1 month.

Consignment workers

A consignment worker is a worker who receives work from the company with establishing a consignment contract instead of an employment contract.

How to find full-time jobs in Japan

If you try to find a full time job in Japan, recruitment websites will be very helpful. Job vacancies are posted and updated on the website everyday, and you can search for full time jobs easily by checking the regular employment type. Besides, job types, industries, work areas, train lines can also be set before searching.

Some websites are specialized for foreigners and contain plenty of jobs for bilinguals or people who are not able to speak Japanese. By setting the employment type to non-regular before search, you can also get job descriptions of part-time, contract or others.