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Sick Leave

Sick Leave Entitlement
ALTs are allowed to use up to 20 days of paid sick leave a year (byoukyuu), which cannot be taken in hourly units. It can only be taken daily. If you are ill you should stay home and take a sick day. If you go to school first, and later decide that you don't feel well enough to stay, you'll be required to take nenkyuu (paid annual leave) for the hours of absence. Generally in Japan, people take byoukyuu when the medical condition is serious. Japanese teachers only use sick leave under doctors' orders. Hence, if you were well enough to go to school in the first place, you wouldn't be considered ill enough to require byoukyuu. So, if you wish to take byoukyuu, you will need to take the whole day off.

According to your contract (Article 18-2), you must provide a medical certificate (shindansho) if you are absent for more than seven consecutive days (including weekends and holidays). Notwithstanding, Article 23 (5) leaves the requirement for a doctor's certificate at our discretion, so we may ask for a certificate even if you only miss one day. A shindansho usually costs around 3000 yen. Even if you do not receive a shindansho on the day you go to a medical facility, you must prove that you needed medical attention on each and every day you wish to take off as byoukyuu in order to qualify. Because of this, you must submit a receipt from a medical institution for each and every day you wish to take off proving that you have gone to receive medical attention. Alternatively, if you have a shindansho (medical certificate) from a medical facility stating explicitly that you need a certain number of days off of work for medical reasons, you can submit that and qualify for byoukyuu without having to go to a medical facility on those days specified by the shindansho. Please be aware though that even if you go to a medical facility and submit a receipt for each and every day for days you would like to take off as sick leave, you will be required to submit a shindansho if the days total 7 or more (including weekends and holidays) consecutively.

Calling in Sick If you are sick and want to take byoukyuu, contact your school as soon as possible and inform them of your situation. You must call them before your scheduled work time is to start. You should speak to your school's vice principal or principal directly about your issue.

Sample Dialogue
Here is a sample dialogue:

Telephone rings
Staff member : Moshi moshi, (school name) no (staff name) de gozaimasu.
(Hello, ____ from _____ school speaking.)

You: Ohayo gozaimasu. (Your name) desu. (Kyouto-sensei ha irasshaimasu ka?
(Good morning. It's _____. Is the vice principal there?)

Staff member: Hai, chotte matte ne.
(Yes, just a moment.)

Inai desu.
(No, they aren't.)

You: Kyou, guai ga totemo warui n desu no de, kyou ha ichinichi yasundemo yoroshii deshou ka. Byouin ni iku yotei desu.
(I'm not feeling well today, so would it be alright for me to take the day off? I plan on going to a clinic/hospital)
Onaka wa chotto itai desu no de, kyou ha ichinichi yasundemo yoroshii deshou ka. Byouin ni iku yotei desu.
(I have a stomach ache, so would it be alright for me to take the day off? I plan on going to a clinic/hospital)
Atama wa chotto itai desu no de, kyou ha ichinichi yasundemo yoroshii deshou ka. Byouin ni iku yotei desu.
(I have a headache, so would it be alright for me to take the day off? I plan on going to a clinic/hospital)
Ashita gakko ni ikeru to omoimasu
(I think I should be able to go to school tomorrow.)

Staff member: Hai, wakarimashita.
(Okay, I understand.)

You: Go meiwaku o okake shimasu ga, douzo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.
(I'm sorry for the trouble I'm causing, but thank you for your consideration.)

Staff member: O-daijini
(Take care.)

Reporting Absence Due to Illness
If you have been absent from school due to illness, you must fill out a Report of Absence Due to Illness form and submit it to your kyoto-sensei. You can download the form from the BOE form section of JET Sendai. Please submit receipt(s) for each and every day you are requesting off as sick leave or alternatively, please submit a doctor's certificate (shindansho) that explicitly states what days you are unable to go to work due to medical reasons. If the time off exceeds 7 days (including weekends and holidays) you must also attach a shindansho to your form. Your report form will be hankoed by your kyoto-sensei/kocho-sensei and then sent to Shidoka.