Other Frequently Asked Questions

Terms and Conditions

Q. Why is my monthly pay less than the amount stipulated in the terms and conditions?

A. Monthly pay is less than the amount stipulated in your terms and conditions because it is “subject to social insurance deductions.” There are three types of social insurance deductions made to the monthly remuneration.
National Health Insurance
Employment Insurance
Pension Insurance

All JET participants are required to be covered by these Japanese insurance policies. The monthly premium of national health insurance and pension insurance together is roughly 70,000 yen (“roughly” because premiums vary slightly by year). Half of this is paid by the JET participant and half by the Contracting Organization. JET participants also pay 1,000-1400 yen a month for Employment Insurance. This is explained in the General Information Handbook, p. 53-61, 2013 edition.

When it’s all said and done, your pay stub should look something like this:
Assuming your total pay is 300,000,
-12,350 (health insurance)
-23,550 (pension insurance)
-1230 (employment insurance)
262,870 (amount you actually receive)

Note: your monthly amounts will be slightly different than those listed above. Also, this example does not take into account income tax or local inhabitant tax.

For JETs who arrive in April 2012 or later:
Monthly remuneration will be as follows: 280,000 yen for 1st yr JETs; 300,000 yen for 2nd year JETs; 325,000 yen for 3rd yr JETs; and 330,00 yen for 4th and 5th yr JETs. JETs who arrive in April 2012 or later will also be responsible for paying any necessary social insurance deductions as well as national income tax and local inhabitant tax.

Q. The terms and conditions state that I must complete my appointment period in order to have my Contracting Organization pay for my return passage. Does this mean I cannot use nenkyu to go home before the last day of my appointment period?

A. You can use nenkyu to go home early and still fulfill your appointment. As usual with nenkyu requests, you will need to have the permission of your Contracting Organization in order to do so. Those considering using nenkyu to leave early should discuss this with their Contracting Organization several months in advance.

Q. What does it mean that “the Supervisor may change the date of the JET’s requested leave” if the requested dates interfere with smooth work operations. Does this mean that my Supervisor can pick the dates I use nenkyu?

A. No, this simply means that your Supervisor can ask you to use that you change the dates of your nenkyu request. The meaning of this section has a different nuance in the Japanese terms and conditions. It says the Supervisor can “grant” nenkyu at another time if the requested dates interfere with smooth work operations.

Q. I will be starting a new job in Japan within one month of the end of my contract, but I will be returning home temporarily first. Will my Contracting Organization still pay for my return passage?

A. No, if you are beginning a new job within one month of the end of your appointment, you will not be eligible to receive return air passage even if you return to your home country before beginning the new job.

In order to receive return air passage, JET participants must fulfill all of the following three criteria:

  • Complete the appointment term
  • Not enter into a subsequent contract or appointment with the Contracting Organization or a third party in Japan within one month after completion of the term of appointment
  • Leave Japan to return to their home country no later than one month from the day following the end of the appointment term.

Q. The teachers/office workers around me always seem to stay after hours. Am I also expected to do so?

A. JET participants usually aren’t expected to stay after hours. Please keep in mind, though, that it is helpful to relationships with co-workers to occasionally stay after hours.

Q. What kind of situations warrant a grant of special leave?

A. Special leave is only granted on a limited number of occasions. These include:

  • bereavement leave
  • marital leave
  • natural disaster leave
  • commuter transport system failure leave
  • pre-natal leave
  • post-natal leave
  • nursing time leave
  • menstrual leave
  • parental leave
  • and any other time the Supervisor deems there is a special need, such as alien registration (or residence notifications such as moving-in notifications and moving-out notifications) or application for extension of period of stay. (Items 1-4 and 10 are paid, and 5-9 are not paid. This may vary by terms and conditions.)

The final case which allows for paid leave, “any other time the supervisor deems there is a special need,” is generally used only for things such as trips to the Immigration Office.

Q. Do all JETs in the prefecture have the same terms and conditions?

A. No. Each Contracting Organization has its own terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are created based on CLAIR’s model terms and conditions.
All JET participants employed by Kumamoto Prefecture (ALTs placed at prefectural high schools and CIRs placed at the prefectural office), however, do have the same terms and conditions.

Q. I was told that I am employed part-time. How can I be part-time when I work 35 hours per week?

A. Many JET participants are classified as “part-time” employees. In this case, “part-time” is a translation of a Japanese word that is used to differentiate between standard employees and non-standard employees (such as employees who work on contracts or for different amounts of hours than the standard employees). Joukin (常勤) refers to standard employees and hijoukin (非常勤) refers to non-standard employees. The distinction between the two depends on working conditions. Hijoukin does not have the same meaning or nuance as “part-time” (working 20 or so hours a week, often for cheap wage) does in many of our home countries.

Reappointment

Q. I am a 3rd year JET and am thinking about staying for a 4th/5th year. The reappointing guidelines state that “outstanding” JETs can be reappointed for a 4th and 5th year. What does this mean and who will decide whether or not I qualify as outstanding?

A. The reappointing guidelines were revised beginning with the 07-08 JET year. The new guidelines state that JETs deemed by their Contracting Organizations as “outstanding” can be reappointed for a fourth or fifth year with the consent of the Contracting Organization. It should be kept in mind, though, that in principle only two appointment extensions are permissible (for a total of 3 JET years).

It is ultimately the Contracting Organization who decides whether or not the JET’s work performance and level of experience and ability can be deemed as outstanding or exceptional. CLAIR offers the following as points to be considered, but the decision and criteria are completely up to the Contracting Organization.

“Outstanding”

  • Constantly increasing in ability
  • Able to take on more responsibility
  • Does not overuse/abuse sick leave
  • Gets along very well with co-workers
  • Very involved in community/schools
  • Exceptional work record, experience, ability
  • Is not late to work

Exceptional Work Performance and Ability – ALT

  • advanced level of Japanese language ability
  • has made significant contributions to international exchange in region
  • has achieved exceptional accomplishments in their work, such as having a student they have personally trained for a foreign language speech contest achieve a high ranking
  • has raised students’ interest in foreign language and developed new, innovative methods for teaching

Exceptional Work Performance and Ability – CIR

  • advanced level of Japanese language ability
  • has made significant contributions to international exchange in region
  • has successfully planned and implemented international exchange events

Again, this is not a definitive list of requirements. These are merely points that some Contracting Organizations may consider. Please keep in mind that some Contracting Organizations have the policy of not reappointing for more than the standard 3 years. This is the Contracting Organization’s prerogative; they are under no obligation to reappoint for a 4th or 5th year regardless of the ability and experience of the concerned JET.

If you are considering asking to be reappointed for a 4th or 5th year, you should discuss the possibility with your Contracting Organization several months before the reappointing deadline (beginning of February).

Q. If they wish to be, all 1st and 2nd year JETs are automatically reappointed for a 2nd or 3rd year, right?

A. Ah, sorry, but that’s incorrect. Reappointment only occurs when both the Contracting Organization and the JET agree to the reappointment. Occasionally the situation will arise in which a JET wishes to be reappointed for a 2nd or 3rd year but, based upon the JET’s work performance, the Contracting Organization does not wish to reappoint the JET.

Contracting Organizations are encouraged to regularly evaluate their JET’s work performance and offer feedback on where the JET can make improvements, being specific about those aspects of the JET’s work performance that require the most improvement and discussing with the JET how improvement can be achieved. If, after the Contracting Organization has discussed these improvements and provided the JET opportunity to make improvement, the JET is found to have not made sufficient effort to improve, the Contracting Organization is not obligated to reappoint the JET.

Some issues commonly raised by Contracting Organizations in these situations are:

  • tardiness
  • abuse of sick leave
  • neglect of work duties
  • doesn’t make an effort to engage students

Q. I would like to apply to become a CIR. What is the process and how possible is such a change?
A. The process begins with you discussing with your tantosha your intent to apply for a CIR position. This should be done as soon as possible after the reappointing paperwork goes out in October. Following this, you will need to submit the job type-change application form to your tantosha. The deadline for this is usually the first week in December, but it should be submitted to your tantosha much sooner than this if possible.

Your tantosha will then send the application form to the host prefecture office (Tourism and International Exchange Division of the Kumamoto Prefectural Government Office). You will receive final word regarding your application by sometime in January.

Please keep in mind the following when applying for a job type-change:

  • Job type-changes are only allowed within the current prefecture. Kumamoto Prefecture only has 3 English-speaking CIR positions. The screening process will not occur in years in which all 3 CIRs are reappointed or in years in which it is deemed to be unnecessary. Due to these factors, job type-changes are extremely rare.
  • As with transfers, job type-changes are carried out under the host prefecture office’s discretion and are only granted in exceptional cases where the change is deemed to be necessary. If circumstances arise that create a need for a job type-change (i.e. a Contracting Organization employing a CIR specifically requests for an ALT transfer), then the host prefecture office will conduct a screening process of the applicant.
  • CIR positions require high levels of Japanese proficiency and understanding of Japanese culture and societal issues. In addition to language skills and knowledge, applicants must have a very strong recommendation from their current Contracting Organization.
  • Job type-changes are not possible for JETs representing small number participant countries.

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