2023 / 10 / 07

■Is Paid Vacation Obligatory? How should executive drivers be given paid leave?


■ Is paid vacation obligatory? How should executive drivers be given paid leave?

It can be said that it is surprisingly difficult to get paid leave as desired by executive drivers. Since they work together with managers and executives and have urgent tasks, they probably want them to be on standby at all times. This article introduces the obligation to grant paid leave, including executive drivers, and how to proceed smoothly with work while taking leave, for managers looking for a solution to the problem.



1. Paid leave stipulated by the Labor Standards Act

Article 39 of the Labor Standards Act obliges employees to grant paid leave. Employees who have been employed for six months or more and who work 80% or more of their working hours must be given at least 10 days of paid leave per year. The work-style reform-related bills that went into effect in April 2019 have made it even more stringent to take paid leave, and companies are now obligated to take at least five days of paid leave each year. Failure to do so will result in imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine of up to 300,000 yen. Paid vacation days are determined through discussions with employees. In addition, when there is an application, you must try to comply with the request as much as possible. However, if the company has an important schedule, it is possible to ask the employee to change the date by mutual agreement. Of course, it is illegal to arbitrarily incorporate it into Obon and year-end and New Year holidays. Also, in principle, you cannot purchase paid holidays.


2. In case of intermittent work exemption

Due to the nature of the work of an executive driver, it can be said that the work is irregular and tends to be tied up for long hours regardless of day or night or weekends. When urgent work comes in, the driver must also respond. If the manager is entertaining guests at golf or restaurants, they may be waiting on the road. If such work has become a regular occurrence, it is necessary to apply for "intermittent work exemption". A person who works like an executive driver falls under Article 41 of the Labor Standards Law, "Persons engaged in intermittent work." This is an employee who has a short break time but a long waiting time (the time when he/she must immediately start working when instructed by the employer). If necessary, the company will submit an application to the local Labor Standards Inspection Office. At this time, the worker's name and personal seal are also required. However, in reality, there are many companies that do not apply, partly because the criteria for accepting applications are strict. The application of working hours and rest/holiday provisions is exempted, but the provision of paid leave equivalent to vacation is not exempted. It should be noted that even if the application is accepted, the company has an obligation to obtain it.


3. If it is difficult to freely grant paid leave, use dispatch

There are probably many managers who think, "I want executive drivers to take paid leave to refresh themselves" and "I want them to take it on days that meet their wishes as much as possible." However, for busy business owners, it is no surprise that there are many cases where they are in trouble without a driver. If it is difficult to grant free paid leave, we would like to use a dispatched executive driver. There are three benefits to using dispatch. The first is that even if the driver suddenly becomes sick, has an accident, or has a family member's misfortune, a replacement will be dispatched, so the work of the manager will not be affected. The temporary staffing agency shares information about the contracted companies, so there is also the advantage of being able to respond smoothly, unlike taxis and ordinary driving agents. Second, by hiring an executive driver dispatched for only one day, you can let your company's executive driver take paid leave. It is true that one-time use is more expensive than regular use or monthly contract, but it can be used conveniently when you cannot agree on the days when you take paid holidays. The third is that you can receive high-quality service because you have received etiquette training as a driver at the dispatching agency. Executive drivers are required to have higher quality driving skills than taxi drivers. Also, in addition to normal work, there are situations such as taking on a part of entertainment work, so you must be familiar with manners. Acquiring these skills through in-house training is both costly and time consuming, but dispatched executive drivers can handle this immediately. In the unlikely event that your favorite driver quits, the same level of staff will be dispatched immediately.



Paid vacation is mandatory, so let's give paid vacation to executive drivers

Paid holidays are mandatory for all occupations. This is the same even for executive drivers who are irregular and have a lot of waiting time due to the balance of work with managers and executives. You can apply for exemptions for working hours, breaks, and holidays, but you cannot apply for exemptions for paid holidays. In order to facilitate the work of executives and managers, dispatching is useful for taking leave for company executive drivers. As a dispatched executive driver, you can continue to receive high-quality service when you need it.





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