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Japan weighs unemployment benefits for furloughed employees

  • May 7, 2020
  • , Nikkei Asian Review , 6:52 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Japan is likely to pay workers furloughed due to the new coronavirus crisis the same amount as regular unemployment benefits, Nikkei has learned.


The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare wants to implement the “deemed unemployment” system that was introduced in disaster areas following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.


Unemployment payouts are usually not available to people who will likely work again after business resumes.


Employees would be paid directly after submitting an application to their local unemployment office. The application process will be streamlined, requiring less documentation than would normally be required for unemployment claims.


The amount to be paid will vary depending on income and the number of years a worker has paid unemployment insurance, with payouts capped at 8,330 yen ($78.2) per day, a figure the ministry may raise.


Payouts will begin in June, subject to approval of the proposal and amendment to current law.


The move would simplify claims for workers and businesses, both of which have been hamstrung by complicated filing procedures.


It is hoped the emergency measure will allow employees to receive benefits even if they have not been dismissed but may suffering short-term financial hardships.

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