Work-life balance

Our Position on Work-Life Balance

We promote the creation of workplaces that are comfortable in terms of work-life balance in keeping with these objectives:

  • ❶ To promote flexible approaches to work, while also reducing overtime hours and promoting the full use of annual leave entitlements, and encourage employees to devote the additional time available to worthwhile non-work activities, such as educational pursuits and activities related to family and communities.
  • ❷ To offer a greater diversity of working styles that benefit employees who must deal with major life events, such as marriage, childbirth, and child rearing, and thus contribute to nurturing the next generation, we are deliberating and phasing in policies that will be effective in achieving these goals.

We have been enhancing each of our leave entitlement programs, including beginning in 2018 to allow employees to apply accumulated annual paid vacation in one-day increments for infertility treatment and cancer treatment. As for annual paid vacation, we had already expanded to 40 the number of accumulated unused days of annual paid vacation that may be carried over, and this was further expanded to 60 days in January 2020. We also adopted a system for annual time off based on hourly increments in January 2020.

From June 2020, eligibility for child nursing care leave was expanded from employees with children up to the third grade at elementary school to those with children up to the sixth grade, and use of accumulated annual paid vacation is also possible. Also, in January 2021, we enabled employees to acquire child nursing care leave and family care leave in hourly increments, so that these can be accrued either in ten-minute or one-day increments. Effective January 1, 2022, the number of annual days off for regular daytime workers has been increased by two days. As a result, the prescribed annual working hours have been reduced. We will continue to implement such initiatives as part of efforts to further promote better work-life balance.

Preparing the Workplace for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid the spread of COVID-19 infections, our Company is naturally providing each employee with education on preventing infection as we put effort into establishing an environment in which we can work with assurance even amid the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing the risk of infection for our employees and for guests who visit our Company.

From January 2021, we introduced a work-from-home system for the entire company, and we are working to create an environment that allows employees to work from home regardless of where they work by deploying mobile PCs for desktop users, enhancing remote access (VPN) and videoconferencing systems (e.g., Zoom), and other measures. We are also recommending remote conferencing as a communication tool among customers and employees, and the environment is being expanded with the installation of dedicated private booths. While reducing infection risk in the future, we are working to make our operations even more efficient through optimum combinations of in-person and remote work.

In addition, in October 2021, a special paid leave system was introduced to support the child-rearing generation, providing a total of 23 employees with a total of 40 days off as of March 31, 2022. Airborne droplet transmission prevention panels, a product of our company, have been installed at facilities including offices, conference rooms and reception rooms at the Head Office and each business site as we take meticulous care to guard against infections and prevent their spread.

Employee Support for Various Life Events

We are focusing on creating an environment in which our
employees can achieve their goals for both work and life events (such as childbirth and childcare). We are also encouraging employees to proactively utilize various programs provided by our Group to help them deal with important life events, and since the implementation of childcare leave and nursing care leave programs, the proportion of employees returning to work after taking childcare or nursing leave has been almost 100%. The number of people who took childcare leave in fiscal 2021 came to nine women and eight men, while no employees took nursing care leave. We will continue to implement initiatives that exceed the specifications of legal standards in order to enhance employee support.

Kurumin

Next-generation Certification Mark (Kurumin)

Programs Relating to Childbirth and Childcare

Items Details
Childcare Leave Program Childcare leave can be taken until children reach the age of two (until the day before a child’s second birthday)
Altering work start times for workers caring for children Changes in employee work start times Change of work start time Employees with children in the sixth grade at elementary school or lower are able to shift their work start time in 30 minute increments up to either one hour forward or one hour back with the provision that there is no change to the length of their set work day.
Shorter working hours for childcare Employees with children up to the sixth grade of elementary school may, upon request, shorten their prescribed daily working hours by up to two hours.
Child nursing Care leave

Employees with children in the sixth grade at elementary school or lower who have been employed at the Company for six months or more can take child nursing care leave in addition to annual paid leave or missing
(1) A child is injured or is infected with a contagious disease

  • (2) A child requires a vaccination or a checkup
  • · The number of days of child nursing care leave is up to five days per year for one child and up to 10 days per year for two or more children.
  • · Child nursing care leave can be taken in either ten-minute or one-day increments.
  • · Wages will not be paid during leave, but annual paid leave can be used (in the case of accumulated annual paid vacation, leave may be taken in either one-day or half-day increments.)

Childbirth leave Female employees are granted six weeks’ leave prior to giving birth (14 weeks in case of multiple pregnancy) and eight weeks’ leave after giving birth.
Outpatient leave
  • · Pregnant employees can take leave during pregnancy and after giving birth for receiving health guidance from a health professional or receiving postnatal checkups
  • · Wages will not be paid during leave, but annual paid leave can be used
Exemption from overtime work Eligible person: Employees with a child under the age of three who request it
Details: Exempted from overtime work
Limitations on night work Eligible person: Employees with a pre-school age child who request it
Details: Cannot be ordered to work more than 24 hours of overtime per one month or over 150 hours per year
Limitations on late night work Eligible person: Employees with a pre-school age child who request it
Details: Cannot be ordered to work late at night

Programs Relating to Nursing

Item Details
Nursing leave programs Employees are able to split leave up to three separate occasions for each situation where a family member requires care Total period of leave: 1 year
Change of work start time Employees are able to shift their work start time in 30 minute increments up to either one hour forward or one hour back with the provison that there is no change to the length of their set work day
Nursing leave • Nursing leave can be taken in half day increments up to five days per year when there is one family member requiring care or up to 10 days when there are two or more family members requiring care
• Wages will not be paid during leave, but annual paid leave can be used
Limitations on overtime work Eligible person: Employees with a family member requiring care
Details: Cannot be ordered to work more than 24 hours of overtime per one month or over 150 hours per year
Exemption from overtime work Eligible person: Employees with a family member requiring care who request it
Details: Exempted from overtime work
Limitations on late night work Eligible person: Employees with a family member requiring care who request it
Details: Cannot be ordered to work late at night

Number of overtime hours worked and days of paid leave taken by regular employees

FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Average number of overtime hours (per annum) 146.6 157.7 131.0 102.8 121.9
Average number of days of paid leave used 12.1 13.4 14.4 12.6 12.9
  • * “Regular employees” means our company (non-consolidated basis) personnel working during daytime hours, excluding management staff.

Feedback from a user of our system of employee support for life events

During childcare leave, I experienced the importance of mutual help firsthand. I am grateful for the cooperation of everyone at my workplace, and want to work even harder

We welcomed our first child in October 2021 and I took parental leave from November 1 to December 15. I decided to take childcare leave because this was to be our first experience with childrearing, and because our parents’ homes are far away, so it would be just the two of us, husband and wife, raising our child. I was apprehensive about a long leave of absence, partly because I was in charge of my production site. When I discussed this with my supervisor, however, I was told I should put my family first, and by having the situation explained to my workplace with a request for their cooperation, I was able to take the childcare leave with peace of mind.

During my childcare leave, I experienced firsthand the difficulties of raising a child, but also the importance of helping each other. Recently, we often hear terms like “one-parent child care,” but I still believe that it’s physically and mentally impossible for one parent to raise children all alone. On the other hand, I also feel that by cooperating and helping each other, we were both able to take time for ourselves, rather than letting either one of us become overwhelmed with childcare. Now that the baby is weaned, our days are busier than they were during my absence, but we have both returned to work and are struggling every day to balance our work with childcare. I have no doubt that I am in my current situation thanks to the fact that I was enabled to face up to the task of childcare during my childcare leave. Again, I would like to thank everyone in the workplace who helped me take childcare leave. For this reason, in the future I would like to support my colleagues who are in a similar position, and to be even more committed to my work.

Tatsufumi Aizono

Manufacturing Department, Kanuma Plant
Tatsufumi Aizono

I feel gratitude for the understanding and consideration of my workplace.
If someone close to me takes childcare leave, I want to actively support them

I gave birth to my first child in March 2021 and took childcare leave for about a year before returning to work in April of this year. Raising a child is many times more demanding than I had imagined, but I was helped by the people around me and my surroundings throughout my pregnancy, so I spent my days filled with gratitude for that.

Childcare is a 24/7 occupation from the day you give birth, and you have to take care of your child without taking time to recover yourself. I had to put off any concerns of my own for later, couldn’t go to the bathroom whenever I pleased, and didn’t even have time to eat at a relaxed pace ... I was often stressed out. However, I have made it this far thanks to the support of my husband, my parents, and others around me.

I got a sense of how amazingly fast a child grows during that first year. Although there were difficulties every day, I was very happy to be able to use the maternity leave program to spend invaluable time with my child.

I was anxious about returning to work, but my supervisor and everyone in the department was warm and supportive, so I was able to return to work with peace of mind. While contributing to the company in the future, I would like to share this experience with people in the company and actively support those around to me who take childcare leave.

Sayaka Tanoue

Corporate Communications Dept., Corporate General Affairs Div.
Sayaka Tanoue

Call or email us about Sustainability