In response to the social backdrop of an aging population and low birthrate, Chugai provides information and conducts seminars to support the development of the next generation and educate employees about balancing nursing care and work, in part to ensure employees can continue to work rather than giving up their career due to childbirth, or for childcare, nursing care and other reasons. In addition to efforts to reduce long working hours, in 2013 management and labor worked to bring together a vision for Chugai Group’s work/life balance goals under the theme of pursuing work/life synergies.
In 2015, the pursuit of work/life synergies was positioned as a part of the new mid-term business plan, and we are currently working to establish and implement action plans across all organizations as we engage in creating a rewarding and inclusive workplace.
Improving Working Conditions
In addition to flexible work arrangements such as flextime and a discretionary work system for researchers, Chugai is improving working conditions with various support systems and frameworks so employees can balance work with major life events.
- Flexible work arrangements
- Reduced work hours for childcare (flextime work)
- Enhanced flexibility of flextime system for childcare and nursing care (reduced core time)
- Flexible shifts for childcare (for fixed-time workers)
- Telecommuting System (available for childcare, family nursing care, enhancing productivity, and for injuries and treatment)
- Reduced work hours for nursing care (flextime work)
- Long-term childcare leave (first 14 consecutive days are paid leave)
- Paternity leave
- Sick/injured child care leave
- Nursing care leave and long-term nursing care leave
- Cost and equipment support
- Company PCs rental service for employees taking maternity leave, childcare leave or nursing care leave
- Subsidies for non-registered day care facility expenses after returning from maternity leave or long-term childcare leave
- Subsidies for babysitting expenses (All Japan Childcare Services Association)
- Kids’ Square Nihonbashi Muromachi, a consortium-managed childcare center
- Use of company vehicles when picking up and dropping off children at daycare
- Commuting by Shinkansen due to marriage, spouse’s transfer, childcare or nursing care
- Information provided via websites
- Suku-Suku Square: website to support raising the next generation (information site for programs and services related to childbirth and childcare)
- Infocare (information website on balancing nursing care and work)
- Other support
- Transfer assistance plan to enable MRs to live with their spouse
- Registration program for rehiring employees who resigned due to marriage, spouse’s transfer, childcare or nursing care
Support for Raising the Next Generation
Chugai formulated a general employer action plan in 2005 pursuant to Japan’s Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children, and has taken measures to improve working conditions such as introducing a program to support employees who return to work after childcare leave. In recognition of these efforts, in 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare certified Chugai as a company that actively supports the balance between work and family life under the terms of the act. We are currently implementing Phase 5 of this action plan.
As employees’ circumstances diversify with childcare, nursing care and other life events, we have provided a handbook to familiarize supervisors with some of the key points they should know to manage their organization. We have also created tools to enable employees to maintain communication during childcare leave and to promote one-on-one discussions following their return to work with their managers, for supporting a smooth return to the workplace.
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Goals of Action Plan for Raising the Next Generation
Measures to Reduce Long Working Hours
Even as work demands increase in both quality and quantity, Chugai continues to reinforce the initiatives that focus on productivity improvement.
Since 2007, Chugai has been making ongoing efforts to educate employees about appropriate working hours through the sharing of overtime work conditions by labor and management, recommending days for taking annual leave (five days a year) and registering annual leave as an anniversary day (can be registered unlimited times). Other measures include “no overtime days” set by each site and divisions, determining in advance the necessity of overtime work, and time management training.
In 2017, these initiatives resulted in monthly average overtime work of 4.8 hours per person, with an average of 56.8% (on a stand-alone basis) taking annual leave.