Yes. Labor Safety and Health Law (労働安全衛生法) Article 66 Paragraph 1 require employers to arrange health examinations, conducted by doctors, for their employees, and Paragraph 5 state that employees are required to undergo such health exams as arranged by their employers. Current legislation requires these health exams to be conducted once a year. A question may rise as to whom should bear the cost (employer or employee?) but the government’s current interpretation is that because the exams are required by law, it is only natural that employers bear the cost. While many companies in US are attempting to cut health insurance costs, companies in Japan provide health check-ups for free. This is actually one of the several benefits of working in Japan.
Because company provided health exams have become such an inseparable culture of Corporate Japan, it is unlikely that your employer doesn’t provide you one. But what can you do if your employer doesn’t? Ask someone you know at HR. Still if nothing happens ask again because chances are they’ve forgotten about it (low priority). If your employer is avoiding it to cut costs, first, your employer is in violation of law, and second, it may be time for you to jump ship because it’s pretty obvious your employer is in a budget crunch.
Oh, and if you’re paid by the hour, the government encourages employers to pay you for the time you spend on your health exam. If your work involves industrial hazards and/or bring you in contact with hazardous substances, it is likely that your employer is required to pay you for the time you spend getting examined.
Thinking about working in Japan? Preparing to move overseas almost becomes a full-time job in the final weeks of your departure. Many people quit their jobs weeks before so they can devote their time to preparation. But what about your health insurance? Short-term health insurance plans are a great solution. ↓
Below are links to Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultants providing services in English. Also below are useful links related to working in Japan and links to women balancing career and personal happiness. WJA realizes and promotes women's increasing value in the labor market.