Japanese Civil Code (Article 622)
Under the Civil Code, a contract in which one person performs services for another with compensation may be construed as any one of the following:
an employment agreement (雇用契約, koyō keiyaku) where the object is the completion of labour under the employing party’s direction.
an independent contractor agreement (請負契約, ukeoi keiyaku) where the object is the completion of a specific task.
a mandate agreement (委任契約, inin keiyaku) where, similar to power of attorney in common law countries, one party performs designated tasks on the other party’s behalf. These tasks are usually legal acts but may be non-legal acts, in which case, the agreement is referred to as a quasi-mandate (準委任, jun-inin).
Employment agreements are regulated by the Civil Code and by the Labor Standards Act of 1947 (労働基準法, Rōdō-kijun-hō). (The JETRO reference below covers this subject.) Some general guidelines follow. Some items apply only to companies with ten or more employees.
Conditions of employment must be clearly set out in the employment agreement or in supplementary rules which are provided to the employee.