There is no one specific law governing background screening in Japan, however, various pieces of legislation do cover parts of the screening process. Until recently, employers had the right, under Japanese law, to conduct employment background checks on candidates. Unless the scope of the background check was extremely unreasonable, or clearly unnecessary, and could be viewed as an invasion of privacy, candidates had the obligation to respond truthfully to questions posed by their potential employers. The practice of background screening in Japan nowadays however has been limited greatly in the past several years by the enactment of new legislation relating to discrimination, privacy and dealing with third party agencies.
The five main laws that should be considered when designing and implementing a screening program in Japan are:
- Japan’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL)
- Labor Standards Law (Chapter 1 Article 3 ) 1947
- Welfare (MHLW) in 2000
- Human Resource Development in High-level IT – Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
- Action Guide Regarding to the Protection of Personal Information of Workers (Action Guide)