Start-up helps staff quit their jobs fuss-free

Japanese workers are paying a company to submit their resignations and avoid their bosses at all costs

Start-up helps staff quit their jobs fuss-free

Workers in Japan who want to quit their jobs but don’t want the stress of it all are paying a company called Exit to handle the resignation process.

Exit helps full-time employees submit their resignation for about USD450. Part-timers are charged about USD360. Repeat clients get a USD90 discount.

The service has proven popular in the one year since Toshiyuki Niino and Yuichiro Okazaki launched the start-up as they have mediated resignations for roughly 700 to 800 clients, with incoming inquiries surging.

Niino and Okazaki said they have worked for clients who felt cornered to the point of considering taking their own lives. This is not unheard of in Japan, where the concept of karoshi – or death by overworking – is a prevalent problem.

“Quitting jobs can be a soul-crushing hassle. We’re here to provide a sense of relief by taking on that burden,” Niino told Japan Times.

Niino, who worked for three firms before becoming an entrepreneur, said he understands the stress of quitting in Japan.

He only spent one year each at the first two jobs and leaving was an emotionally draining process. At one of the companies, he endured hour long meetings with five seniors asking him to stay.

“Quitting should be something positive,” he said. “It’s good for companies too. Employees thinking of resigning generally aren’t very productive. It can resolve the talent mismatch at an early stage and would help enhance labour market fluidity.”

Once an online request for Exit’s service is accepted and the fee is deposited, the company contacts the employer and notifies them of the client’s intention to resign. Exit may also inform employers that the worker will no longer be coming in to work.

Exit relays other requests the client may have, including using up any paid leave, but steers clear of anything that requires a lawyer to handle as they strictly abide by the role of “messenger”.

In their experience, some employers may raise a fuss or demand to talk to their employees directly but will eventually agree to the resignation. Any paperwork and belongings that need to be returned are exchanged between the client and employer by mail. Exit also acts as a middleman for additional requests by either party.


Related stories:
Suicide continues to be the main cause of death among working-age Japanese
Journalist died of overwork, bosses reveal


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