In the last article I explained the work of a sharoshi - or certified social insurance and labor consultant. This article introduces Mr. Teizo Hirasawa of Hirasawa International Labor Consultant Office.
Sharoshi Teizo Hirasawa got his start in the area of human resources as a consultant at KPMG. During his 16-year tenure at the international tax and auditing firm he specialized in tax, payroll and HR consulting for the firm’s largely foreign corporate clients.
Deciding to move on and go independent, Mr. Hirasawa took his sharoshi license in 2007. He established the Hirasawa International Labor Consultant Office in 2008. Employing four other payroll professionals in addition to himself, Hirasawa International offers various payroll options ranging from basic employee payroll calculation to full administration of payroll to foreign companies in Japan. With the full service outsourcing plan, Mr. Hirasawa’s office handles all aspects of the customer’s payroll, including calculation for employees in Japan or abroad, deduction of insurance premiums and taxes, distribution of salaries and recordkeeping. This option is particularly convenient for foreign companies with no administrative personnel at their Japan offices.
Almost all of Mr. Hirasawa’s clients are foreign companies, and of these, the majority are finance and investment related. Roughly half of new customers in search of a bilingual payroll service find Mr. Hirasawa on the internet, and the other half come from client introductions.
Payroll administration is particularly complicated in Japan, involving separate reporting of standard compensation （標準報酬） to the government for pension insurance premium billing, insurance enrollment to the appropriate social insurance office （社会保険事務所） and labor insurance enrollment reporting to the Hello Work （ハローワーク） office.
The HR component of Mr. Hirasawa’s services consists primarily of drafting company Rules of Employment, or shugyo kisoku （就業規則）. Companies with at least ten employees must submit shugyo kisoku to the Labor Standards Inspection Office （労働基準監督所）.Shugyo kisoku define conditions of employment required by the Labor Standards Law （労働基準法）, such as work hours, mandatory health examinations and the dismissal process. Many companies draw up Rules of Employment, also known as Work Rules, in Japanese and English regardless of number of employees in order to treat employees fairly and consistently. Rules of Employment as well as salary （給与規定/賃金規定）, travel expense （旅費規程）, family and child care leave （介護・育児休業規定） and other policies help companies to avoid taxation on unequally distributed employee benefits. Mr. Hirasawa advises companies on how to establish these policies without running amok of Japanese labor law.
A growing number of companies request English translation of Japanese shugyo kisoku and other policies. An English version not only makes company policies more comprehensible for their foreign employees, but also allows parent companies to better understand legal working conditions of their employees in Japan.
Mr. Hirasawa’s hobby is ocean fishing, and his favorite place to fish is about two hours out from Kanazawa Hakkei. He usually comes home with between 30 and 50 mackerel or yellowtail, though he has also caught a small shark. (The shark went back in the water.) He loves the quiet, peaceful environment of the ocean, contrasting as it does with the busy working world.