1. Accounting (Source: Keiei Zaimu Magazine)
On 28 October, Financial Services Agency promulgated and executed Partial Revision of Regulations for Consolidated Financial Statements, etc. In this revision, the requirements for Optional Application of IFRS are eased, leaving only the mandate that a company promote and establish a system for ensuring appropriateness of the Consolidated Financial Statements under IFRS. The requirements that a company be a listed company and that it conduct financial activity or business activity internationally have been eliminated. Based on this, an unlisted company or a company having no overseas subsidiaries with capital of 2 billion yen or more that was not previously permitted Optional Application of IFRS, is also eligible. Accordingly, it is expected that the number of eligible companies will be greatly increased from 621 (as of March, 2013) to more than 4,000.
2. Taxation (Source: Zeimu Tsushin Magazine)
Based on Japanese Tax Reform in 2014, a permanent resident of Japan who owns JPY 50 million or more in assets outside Japan as of 31 December, 2013 is required to submit a “Statement of Foreign Assets” to the relevant tax office by 17 March, 2014 (because 15 March falls on a holiday in 2014), the same due date as an individual Japanese income tax return. This reporting requirement applies every year if the individual has foreign assets within the scope of the reporting requirement.
3. Labor Management(What is the difference between holidays and vacations?)
There’s only 1 month left in this year. In Western countries, it is common for people to take Christmas off from work from the middle of December and come back to work on New Year’s Day. On the other hand, most Japanese people stay home and relax during the first three days of the New Year. Are these days off classified as vacations or holidays?
We will explain the differences between holidays and vacations from the standpoint of the Japanese Labor Standards Act.
A holiday is a day off provided to workers at least once a week as stipulated in Article 35 of the Labor Standards Act. In this case, one week refers to a calendar week which begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday unless otherwise stipulated in the company’s rules of employment, etc. Basically one holiday must be a calendar day, the twenty-four hour period from midnight one day to midnight the next day and is defined as a day on which a worker is not required to provide labor under the employment agreement.
Concurrently, a vacation means a day on which a worker is exempted from the obligation to provide labor upon application to the employer. This means that a holiday is a day on which a worker is supposed to work but is exempted from that obligation. One of the typical vacation classifications is “annual paid leave,” as stipulated in Article 39 of the Labor Standards Act.
The above would suggest that the Japanese traditional New Year holidays should be treated differently regardless of what they are called. If so stipulated in the rules of employment, they should be treated as “holidays”, during which a worker has no obligation to provide labor; or as “vacations”, during which a worker is exempted from such obligation, where there is no specific rule.
Moreover, there are other types of time off such as “administrative leave”, “absence from work”, etc. Some of these are paid leave, and some are unpaid. Consequently, the specific nature of leave time needs to be taken into consideration when granting annual paid leave or when determining the number of service years for retirement allowance calculation. As a conclusion, it is recommended that employers clearly stipulate the guidelines on time off in their rules of employment in advance.
For more information, please contact HR Consulting Group.
4. This Week’s Words of Wisdom (Source: English Words of Wisdom to Enrich Life)
The buck stops here (Harry S. Truman, U.S. President)
I wonder what all the commotion is about with food fraud at this time. Following Hankyu Hanshin Hotels Co.’s admission, I was reminded of a similar situation at The Ritz-Carlton hotel, but “revelations” have been ever-emerging one after another that other restaurants are doing the same thing. They appear to portray Japanese salaried workers’ mentality to seize the opportunity to avoid their responsibility. I am concerned about this nation, but some might say that it is just caught up with the global standard of other nations.