Business Trips

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Business Trips

Unread postby redbar » Tue May 18, 2010 10:33 am

Does anybody here have any experience taking business trips (as an employee of a Japanese company)? I was wondering what to expect in terms of pay (出張手当・宿泊手当・残業手当etc) The company I'm applying at is very ambiguous about the whole thing, saying that atm there are none planned and it's not covered in my job description, but they said it's definitely a possibility in the future and they'll draw up a special contract if the time comes. I know I have the right to refuse to sign any contracts when the time comes, but that means they probably won't renew my current contract...

1)I earn an hourly wage, but I doubt that I'll be "on the clock" except while at my destination. Is it reasonable to negotiate my pay so I at least come out with the same amount I would have gotten if I were working a normal week in Japan?

2)Do companies usually buy the air tickets/hotels/insurance etc., reimburse you afterward or give you a flat amount of money (in which case is it possible you might make a loss?) My JET buddy always made a 3000 yen "profit" when he took trips to conferences, etc.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby MacGyver » Tue May 18, 2010 11:10 am

redbar wrote:1)I earn an hourly wage, but I doubt that I'll be "on the clock" except while at my destination. Is it reasonable to negotiate my pay so I at least come out with the same amount I would have gotten if I were working a normal week in Japan?

Interesting situation but I'd assume you would make the same amount per hour at your destination as your normal week, if not more. Definitely worth negotiating that.

redbar wrote:2)Do companies usually buy the air tickets/hotels/insurance etc., reimburse you afterward or give you a flat amount of money (in which case is it possible you might make a loss?)

Depends. Some do it for you and pay directly. Others make you do it and pay for it and reimburse you later. You shouldn't lose any money. If they make you do it and pay for it, get the money you spent reimbursed in full. Although if you are worried about it, I'd get it pre-approved in writing by your boss before you make any payments. Which is actually fair enough because it wouldn't be fair on the company if you took the most expensive flights/business class or what-have-you and then expected them to pay for it. I'm not saying you would but the point is the company may have a different idea of what is a fair and reasonable amount.

You should expect allowances for meals and all travel-related expenses to be covered when you are at your destination. But again you should find out exactly what they offer and get it in writing if you are worried about it.

redbar wrote:My JET buddy always made a 3000 yen "profit" when he took trips to conferences, etc.

I can guess how he did that but in most cases the company reimburses you for the money you claim. I've also heard stories of people booking business class and then change it to economy and pocket the difference. Or having customers pay for their meal and then taking the receipt and claiming it as their meal allowance. Once, I had dinner with a guy (and about 6 others) who paid for the meal, which cost about 25K yen if memory serves, took our money and then said under his breath "I'm gonna expense this." There are ways to make a few extra bucks if you want but personally I think those sorts of tactics are sleazy, if not downright illegal, and I certainly wouldn't risk my job for what is essentially spare change.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby allblacks » Tue May 18, 2010 11:34 am

I dont know about this. Most companies want you to use it (経費)as it can be written off at tax time. Mine does.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby redbar » Tue May 18, 2010 12:01 pm

redbar wrote:My JET buddy always made a 3000 yen "profit" when he took trips to conferences, etc.

I can guess how he did that but in most cases the company reimburses you for the money you claim. I've also heard stories of people booking business class and then change it to economy and pocket the difference. Or having customers pay for their meal and then taking the receipt and claiming it as their meal allowance. Once, I had dinner with a guy (and about 6 others) who paid for the meal, which cost about 25K yen if memory serves, took our money and then said under his breath "I'm gonna expense this." There are ways to make a few extra bucks if you want but personally I think those sorts of tactics are sleazy, if not downright illegal, and I certainly wouldn't risk my job for what is essentially spare change.[/quote]

Sorry I should have been more clear- I meant they gave him like 30,000 and said "keep the change." (He didn't have to show any receipts)

I've heard that travel insurance for business trips is also more complicated- eg company insurance only covers company property, etc.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby Shawn » Tue May 18, 2010 9:27 pm

I go on a lot of business trips both within Japan and abroad. Generally speaking, how a company handles business trips should be defined in the company rules and regulations. There should be no ambiguities about travel. When I travel overseas, very little comes out of my pocket. My plane ticket and hotel are usually arranged for me. I have a company credit card, so I put my hotel, car rental, and any other legitimate expense on it. I pay for my all of my meals, but I get paid a per diem which I claim when I get back to Japan. Putting in 12-hour days while overseas is not unheard of. I can't remember filing for overtime, but instead I think I got an overseas allowance instead.

Trips in Japan are the same. The company usually provides me with my train tickets in advance. When they can't, I buy the tickets and then get reimbursed later. In short, business trips should not be a burden on you. If you go on a trip, it should be under company rules.

BTW, your JET friend makes 3,000 yen profit? You mean 30,000 yen, right? When I've gone overseas, I've always managed to pocket much more than 30,000 when all is said and done.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby MacGyver » Wed May 19, 2010 12:02 pm

Shawn wrote:I go on a lot of business trips both within Japan and abroad.

Lucky bastard! I'd kill for a job that would send me on biz trips. My last job sent me once to Europe and a few times to Susono (all day trips but better than sitting in the office all day). This job will never send me anywhere.... :cry:
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby allblacks » Wed May 19, 2010 12:44 pm

It might have already sent you crazy. How can you call VB a crap beer! Blasphemy!
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby redbar » Wed May 19, 2010 2:34 pm

Shawn wrote:I go on a lot of business trips both within Japan and abroad. Generally speaking, how a company handles business trips should be defined in the company rules and regulations. There should be no ambiguities about travel. When I travel overseas, very little comes out of my pocket. My plane ticket and hotel are usually arranged for me. I have a company credit card, so I put my hotel, car rental, and any other legitimate expense on it. I pay for my all of my meals, but I get paid a per diem which I claim when I get back to Japan. Putting in 12-hour days while overseas is not unheard of. I can't remember filing for overtime, but instead I think I got an overseas allowance instead.

Trips in Japan are the same. The company usually provides me with my train tickets in advance. When they can't, I buy the tickets and then get reimbursed later. In short, business trips should not be a burden on you. If you go on a trip, it should be under company rules.

BTW, your JET friend makes 3,000 yen profit? You mean 30,000 yen, right? When I've gone overseas, I've always managed to pocket much more than 30,000 when all is said and done.


He got a 30,000 yen allowance but managed to spend only 27,000 on his trip. But this was almost 5 years ago, so they may have gotten stricter/stingier.

This job I'm applying for is a temp (派遣) job so I don't think they'll send me away without first making me a regular employee, since there will be an additional contract and insurance involved. Also, I've heard companies usually don't "trust" temp staff with stuff like overseas business trips ...
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby Shawn » Thu May 20, 2010 12:08 am

redbar wrote:He got a 30,000 yen allowance but managed to spend only 27,000 on his trip. But this was almost 5 years ago, so they may have gotten stricter/stingier.

Oh, so that wasn't a typo. I guess he's ahead, but 3,000 yen isn't much of a profit. :P

redbar wrote:This job I'm applying for is a temp (派遣) job so I don't think they'll send me away without first making me a regular employee, since there will be an additional contract and insurance involved. Also, I've heard companies usually don't "trust" temp staff with stuff like overseas business trips ...

You're probably right about that.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby Junken Master » Fri May 21, 2010 1:13 pm

It might have already sent you crazy. How can you call VB a crap beer! Blasphemy!


I remember that from my Aus travel days. It was piss. Can't understand why so many people were drinking it.
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Re: Business Trips

Unread postby MacGyver » Fri May 21, 2010 1:29 pm

Junken Master wrote:I remember that from my Aus travel days. It was piss. Can't understand why so many people were drinking it.

A couple of reasons. A lot of Aussies (mostly bogans) wouldn't know what good beer was even if you smashed them over the head with it. Good beer is expensive and swill like that is cheap. Peer pressure means that if you don't drink what everyone else is drinking (and everyone drinks beer) people will give you funny looks and take the piss, others will abuse you. (I'm not a huge beer drinker so I used to get this a lot.)

It was kinda like when I went to London and saw Fosters everywhere. I mean I know poms don't know shit about good beer (or good food but that's another gripe) but having Fosters everywhere was ridiculous. Of all the beers from Oz that they could've picked, they picked the worst....
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