Employment and Labor Law Questions and Answers Related to the Earthquake and Tsunami in Northern Japan


The earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan have presented many challenges, including challenges for both employers and employees impacted by these events. To assist employers in dealing with the varied employment and labor law issues facing them at this time, we have prepared a brief set of Q&As based on the information available to us as of April 14, 2011. Please be advised that the content of these Q&As is subject to change should any new administrative notice be issued.

I. Obtaining Personal Information from Employees


Is it acceptable to require employees to submit their personal phone numbers and email addresses to the company in the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami and/or to prepare for future emergencies? May an employer require employees to submit their emergency contact information or the contact information of their family members?


A company should not compel employees to submit personal information. It is appropriate for a company to first obtain the employees’ consent and subsequently ask employees to voluntarily declare such information by clearly specifying the purpose for which such information shall be used.

According to the guidelines issued by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (the “Employment Management Guidelines”), when handling personal information of personnel such as employees, companies are required to specify and identify the purpose of use of the personal information. Therefore, in collecting personal information, it is considered necessary to limit the purpose for which the personal information will be used by clearly stating the reason for which it is being collected.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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