I'm a foreign student, and I was hired by a hotel last year, but had my employment cancelled this month due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having lost my employment, I'm going to apply to join the national health insurance, but, since I won't have any income for a while, I can't pay the premium. When I consulted the ward office, I was told that I needed a document with the number of the reason for my finding myself unemployed, but I don't know what document they mean.
When an individual (worker, rōdōsha / 労働者) who was employed (koyō / 雇用) by a company, etc. leaves or loses their employment (rishoku / 離職) due to dismissal or termination (kaiko / 解雇), the former worker receives an unemployment insurance (koyō hoken / 雇用保険) recipient certificate (hihokensha-shō / 被保険者証) and an unemployment slip (rishokuhyō / 離職票) from the former employer (shiyōsha / 使用者). A rishokuhyō (unemployment slip) is issued to the former worker after the employer submits a certificate of separation from employment (rishoku shōmeisho / 離職証明書) to the Hello Work (Harō wāku / ハローワーク) public employment office, to give notification that the worker is no longer employed, and Hello Work confirms the reason for the separation from employment (rishoku riyū / 離職理由). This rishokuhyō is most likely the document that your ward office requested.
Usually, when you leave your employer's health insurance (kenkō hoken / 健康保険) and join the national health insurance (kokumin kenkō hoken / 国民健康保険), you will need to provide a certificate of forfeiture of eligibility (shikaku sōshitsu shōmeisho / 資格喪失証 明書) for the employer's health insurance and either a certificate of resignation (taishoku shōmeisho / 退職証明書) or a rishokuhyō. The reason why the ward office requested your rishokuhyō is probably because this document includes the reason for leaving or loss of employment, or more specifically the numeric code which indicates this information (rishoku riyū kōdo / 離職理由コード).
Under the national health insurance as administered by the City of Nagoya, there is a system which allows for a reduction in the health insurance premium payable by those who have been separated from employment at the convenience of the employer. Persons with valid grounds for unemployment, including unemployment due to employer bankruptcy, unfair dismissal or termination of contract, and resignation for personal reasons on justifiable grounds, are eligible, and this is probably why the ward office requested that you provide a rishokuhyō, which would confirm the reason for your loss of employment. When leaving an employer, please remember to always obtain a rishokuhyō from the employer.
For readers living outside Nagoya City, a similar system may be available from other local governments. Please inquire at the appropriate office of your local government.
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