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April 14, 2005

Nova Under Investigation by Social Insurance Agency

According to an article in the Japan Times on Tuesday, Nova is the first of possibly many eikaiwa chain schools to be investigated by the Social Insurance Agency for not enrolling their foreign teachers into pension and health insurance schemes. The investigation into the country's biggest eikaiwa chain started at the end of March as a result of a complaint by the Osaka -based General Union and results are expected in May or June. The article says Nova could be hit with a "multibillion-yen bill." Under the Health Insurance Law and Employees' Pension Law, all full-time employees who have been in Japan for over two months must be enrolled in the schemes, regardless of nationality. Payments are split, with employee and employer both paying half.

In the case of Nova, says the article, "policy demands that all new teachers have insurance before they arrive in Japan. But foreign teachers who are employed by Nova have not been told in the past that enrollment in the Employees' Insurance System is compulsory and are instead offered private health insurance schemes, one of which -- Japan Medical Assistance -- is a Nova-group company."
English schools face huge insurance probe

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