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CONSULTING SERVICES | Employee Dismissals / Downsizing

Whether your firm is planning to penetrate the Japanese market, or is already in Japan, you have to be aware of the legal risks and management issues surrounding employee dismissals or reductions.

This becomes more important considering that Japan’s current economic woes seem to be adding to the rise of employer-employee disputes in recent years. In addition, Japan’s uniform labor model is disappearing, causing a shift from collective disputes to individual disputes.


It is also worth mentioning too that the issue of dismissal has a deep cultural context in a country traditionally known for lifetime employment and seniority-based pay.

Please remember as well that in Japan the social responsibility firms are expected to bear in the Japanese marketplace around employee dismissals or downsizing is much greater than foreign firms are used to.

Hence, if employee dismissals or downsizing become inevitable, adapt accordingly and recognize the shared interests between the employer, the employee and your organization’s extended community.

Our Approach to Employee Dismissals or Downsizing

Our HR Consulting Practice assists organizations in implementing a well-thought out strategy and activities in three main work streams surrounding employee dismissals or downsizing in Japan—legal; HR cost management, budgeting, & security; and communications.


  • On the legal aspect, we first help clients understand the basics of the Japanese labor laws and other employment regulations in layman's term. We work with labor lawyers or certified labor consultants in order to ensure that the legal advise and assistance we provide to our clients are up-to-date and relevant.


  • We then work with your top management or HR Department in order to develop a robust strategy and plan to consider the tactical aspects of employee dismissals or downsizing such as cost management techniques, development of Early Retirement Plans (ERP), budgeting, & security management.


  • When it comes to the implementation stage, we assist our clients in the communications aspect of employee dismissals or downsizing which we believe is as important as the preceding two stages.


  • We do this by helping clients develop communication scripts, Q&A Forum, and one-on-one coaching with relevant people tasked to do the dismissals.


  • If needed, we can also provide Outplacement Support Services (e.g., career counseling/ coaching) to affected employees in order to help them in their career transitions.


As Shakespeare once said: "Parting is such a sweet sorrow...," letting go of employees in Japan need not be a horrific experience so long as you do it the Japanese way. 


Contact us for further information and resources (e.g., white papers, etc.) or for other inquiry or assistance around this issue.

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