• There is no law enforcing employers to pay for transportation
  • The amount of payment for transportation is up to each country
  • Haken companies usually do not pay for transportation
  • Payment for transportation is not taxable up to a certain amount

There is no law enforcing employers to pay for transportation

Some companies pay for all of your transportation, some pay partially, and others do not help you with transportation fees at all. You might be wishing that your employer would pay more for your transportation. Sadly, however, employers are not required to pay for their employees’ transportation. Currently, there is no law that enforces employers to pay for transportation.

Why haken companies do not pay for transportation

Even though employers are not required to pay for transportation, many of them currently do. It is partly because they are trying to make better working conditions for their employees so that their employees can focus on their work more, as well as to lure potential job seekers. In fact, as of 2016, more than 90% of full-time employees got paid for their transportation. 

On the other hand, about 80% of haken (temp) employees did not get paid for their transportation. Why is the number so low? The reason has something to do with their payment system. As I explained in the haken article, when you work through a haken company, the haken company pays your salary. The haken company charges the company you are sent to according to how much you have worked. They then take a part of it for fees and insurance premiums, and then give you the rest. This money that you get paid already includes both your transportation fees and hourly wages.

For example, a haken company paid you a salary of ¥100,000. You told the haken company that it cost you ¥10,000 for your commute and asked them to pay for transportation. Later, they fixed the payment and you got ¥90,000 as your salary and ¥10,000 as transportation fees, which is a total of ¥100,000. This is what is meant by your salary paid by a haken company “includes your transportation fees, as well as your hourly wages.”

Transportation fees are not taxed

Lastly, let me tell you some lucky news. If you only use public transportation to commute, transportation fees you get from your employer are exempt from income tax up to ¥150,000 per month. If the monthly payment for your transportation is over ¥150,000, you need to pay income tax for the excess amount of the payment. If you commute by car, the amount exempt from tax payment is decided considering how far you drive to get to your workplace. For example, if you drive less than 2km, transportation is taxable. If you drive 2km or more but less than 10km, ¥4,200 of the payment becomes tax exemption. For more information, please visit the webpage by the National Tax Agency (Japanese only). 

Think positive

If you have ever thought bad about your employer because they only pay you ¥5,000 for your transportation, or if you have decided not to apply for a job because they would not pay for your transportation, maybe this article has changed your mind. Your employer is not responsible to pay for your transportation, and if they do, that is nice of them.