What do you do when you cannot go to work because of illness? Appropriate ways to take a day off in Japan

May 22, 2017

If you are doing baito, part time work in Japan, sometimes you might get sick and are not able to go to work. If you are really sick, you have to take a rest. However in Japan, if you do not inform your shop manager early, they might think you are a dishonest person, as you cannot go to work in the scheduled time. Therefore if you want to take a day off, you have to be extremely careful on how to inform your shop manager, as in Japan, Shinyou (Trust) is very important.


You have to take a rest if you get flu!

If you get flu, and you have a fever, and you have a headache and are not able to work, you have to take a rest as it has a strong chance that you will infect other people in your work place. However, if you only say you got a headache, the people might think you are just trying to skip your work. Therefore, sufficient explanation of your current situation is very important for you, as they want to know the exact reason why you want to take a rest.


So How should you tell your shop manager?

First, you have to explain your current situation.


You need to mention how long are you going to rest, and tell them the exact dates of sick leave. Also, it is important for you to inform your shop manager as early as possible, as they need to find someone substituting your job. It is even better for you to find your friends or colleagues to take you place by yourself, so that you can make your shop manager much easier to find a substitute. Moreover, you can show that you actually care about your job, and it can give your shop manager a better image of you!

How should you ask your friend to be your substitution?

Next, I am going to tell you how you should ask your friend to be your substitution and go to work. You need to ask someone who is not working on that day to work for you, so you have to be very polite when you ask him or her. Let’s say if you are texting him or her, you should mention something like this:




I think this is the most appropriate phrase to show your respect to your friend and ask him or her to kindly work for you. When you ask your friends, again, try to inform them as soon as possible when you know you are not able to work, otherwise it is very hard for them to help you.


Take a rest only when you have a serious disease or fever!


In Japan, usually leaving your work because of ‘a headache’ or ‘a stomachache’ is not tolerated, as they think that you should be able to work. In Japan, you can only take a rest only when you have a serious disease, fever, or flu that you will have a chance to infect others or you are really unable to work. So if you want to stay in your house, give them a valid reason to them!

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