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Living Information

Living Q & A: I'm on rehabilitation for a workplace injury, but my employer wants me back at work

2022.02.28

外国人暮らしのQ&A「 現在職場でのけがでリハビリ中だが、会社が戻ってほしいと言っている」

Q:

At the beginning of the year, I was injured at work, sustaining injuries to my face and a broken leg. My employer handled all of my medical treatment and leave. I'm currently undergoing rehabilitation, but my employer says they want me to go back to work. I still feel pain from my injuries, so can I really go back to work? I'm receiving workers' compensation, but can I also request consolation money or damages from my employer?

A:

It seems that you are currently receiving medical treatment compensation benefits (ryōyō hoshō kyūfu / 療養補償給付) through workers' compensation insurance (rōsai hoken / 労災保険, or rōdōsha saigai hoshō hoken / 労働者災害補償保険) for your injuries sustained in an accident at work, and compensation for absence from work (kyūgyō hoshō kyūfu / 休業補償給付) to make up for the loss of wages resulting from your having to take leave.


Although your employer seems to be requesting that you return to work, we believe that the decision on whether you are able to work again or whether you require more leave to continue medical treatment should be determined by the Labor Standards Inspection Office (rōdō kijun kantokusho / 労働基準監督署) based on a medical certificate (shindansho / 診断書) issued by a doctor.


When you consult a doctor, you should give an accurate explanation of your actual physical condition. The doctor will diagnose whether you still require medical treatment, whether you have recovered, or whether there is no possibility of further recovery from your current condition, and inform the Labor Standards Inspection Office of the diagnosis.


For details of workers' compensation insurance, please consult the Labor Standards Inspection Office with jurisdiction over the relevant area.


In addition, given that workers' compensation insurance provides medical treatment compensation and various other benefits, it could be said that an employer's responsibility to provide compensation for accidents in the workplace is covered by workers' compensation. Consolation money or damages (isharyō / 慰謝料) does not fall within the scope of workers' compensation. If, for example, there has been a violation of the employer's health and safety obligations (anzen hairyo gimu / 安全配慮義務), it seems that it would be possible to seek consolation money or damages.


Should you decide to seek consolation money or damages, you will need to consult a legal specialist such as a lawyer.



Nagoya International Center Civic Advisory Service for Foreign Residents

A free civic advisory service for foreign residents is available in person or by telephone at the Information Counter. A dedicated member of staff provides consultations on issues encountered by foreign residents in their day to day lives, in 9 languages.

For more information on the Civic Advisory Service (including service times and languages, and other free consultations for foreign residents, click here.


See the Living Information section for more Living Q & A articles.

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