Is it legal to have employees pay a penalty when they quit without notice?

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In order to ensure predictability in the management of their business and staff, many employers will draft employment contracts that specify that employees must give notice before quitting their job.  Typically the required notice will be several weeks to several months.  However, even if an employee fails to give notice, employers cannot force pre-determined penalties on employees who suddenly quit.

It should be noted that, while the Japan Labor Standards Act specifically states that penalties for quitting without notice are illegal, employees who fail to give notice before quitting must still take responsibility for any financial loss their sudden departure caused the company.  This might include losses incurred in having to suddenly hire a new employee or train a replacement.

If you have any questions about quitting a job in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.