Employee-friendly Working Environment

Maintaining a “high regard for people and society” is the basis of the Human Resources Management Policy of the Mitsui Chemicals Group. Guided by this policy, we strive to achieve “high levels of sustainable growth” in conjunction with the “happiness and self-fulfillment of our employees”. Against this backdrop, support measures in consideration of work-life balance have become increasingly important to an environment in which each employee can maintain a high degree of motivation and continue to generate results.

Work Style Reform Declaration at Mitsui Chemicals

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is targeting an operating income of ¥200 billion in 2025 under its Long-term Business Plan. In order to achieve this lofty goal, it is vital that each and every member of the Group takes up this unprecedented challenge and pursues every possible avenue while rethinking their approach to certain concepts and work.
To ensure the sound health of employees, increase productivity and encourage creativity in the workplace, under strong leadership from the management team, Mitsui Chemicals is committed to promoting work style reform by addressing each of the following issues.

1. Strive to ensure that the total number of overtime hours and hours worked on designated holidays for each individual employee is less than 80 hours for each month

  • Executives and management staff will take the initiative in reforming their mindsets and promoting diverse work styles.
  • Management staff will review work processes as well as human resources systems and improve word efficiency while strictly controlling the number of hours worked.
  • Employees will abandon the notion that the number of hours worked makes assessment and in principle endeavor to carry out their duties within scheduled working hours.

2. Promote the utilization of the teleworking in order to address a host of issues. This includes efforts to improve the work-life balance of employees, increase productivity, secure talented human resources, and improve business continuity for emergency

  • Management staff will take the initiative and make use of teleworking. Thoughts will also be given to the effective management of subordinates with respect to teleworking.
  • Employees will consider how they can increase productivity with respect to their duties while telework program and endeavor themselves to create the necessary environment.

Reducing Overtime

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is striving to ensure that the total number of overtime hours and hours worked on designated holidays for each employee is less than 80 hours for each month. Recently, the results of these efforts have significantly reduced the number of employees with overtime.

Number of Employees whose Overtime Hours Exceeded 80 Hours/Month
(Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Number of Employees whose Overtime Hours Exceeded 80 Hours/Month (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Reviewing Tasks and Strengthening Human Resources

In general, chemical plants operate continuously for long periods of time, but when it is necessary to carry out periodic maintenance, the entire plant is shut down for a specific limited period to allow repairs and inspections to both minimize the effect on production and ensure that the equipment is safe. To avoid work being concentrated in specific periods due to periodic maintenance, we have been working to review tasks and strengthen human resources.

Visualizing Overtime and Hours Worked on Designated Holidays

To visualize overtime and hours worked on designated holidays, the line managers share the monthly records of overtime and hours worked on designated holidays for each division and each employee. Each line manager is working to establish a comfortable working environment by comparing overtime and hours worked on designated holidays of other divisions and their own division, and by confirming work is not concentrated on a specific employee. When an employee is found to have worked more than 80 hours of overtime each month, the Human Resources Division conducts an interview with the workplace manager, and reviews and implements specific measures to identify the cause of the overtime and make improvements for the individual employee.

Skill Development Training Aimed at Reducing Overtime

We have provided skill development training aimed at reducing overtime. Non-management staff are provided with time management training, in which they acquire specific approaches to reviewing working habits, scheduling and handling e-mail. Management staff are provided with organizational management workshop training, in which they learn specific approaches to efficiently managing their organization.

Work-Life Balance Measures

Mitsui Chemicals has put in place various systems that exceed statutory requirements in response to employees’ circumstances outside of work, including child and family care.
As a part of this support, we changed the work-from-home program for childcare/family care leave to a teleworking program, regardless of the reason in 2019. We also reformed the leave system so that unused annual (or special) leave that has already expired can be used as leave for hospitalization or visiting a doctor, thereby offering better support for our employees’ work-life balance. Please refer here for the benefit programs and measures.

Principal Employee Benefit Programs and Measures (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.)

Annual paid leave Twenty days per year in units of 0.5 days, starting from the second year of employment.
Refreshment leave Two consecutive days paid leave per year.
Special leave Paid leave taken from any unused annual paid leave (up to 60 days), granted when the employee is unable to work for more than three days due to illness or injury, family care, childcare or social contribution activities. It may be granted in units of 0.5 days for disease treatment or infertility treatment.
Flextime system No core working hours. Hours worked are counted not in terms of days but over the whole month.
Teleworking Up to two days per week, eight days per month, regardless of the reason (childcare, family care, etc.).
Community service leave Two days paid leave per year.
Leave of absence to accompany
spouse’s overseas assignment
Leave of absence for up to three years.
Childcare leave Leave of absence for up to four years, paid for the first five days. Male employees are encouraged to take childcare leave.
Short working hours (childcare leave) Up to three hours per day to care for a child in sixth grade or younger.
Company childcare center Established in 2009 near the Ichihara Works & Sodegaura Center.
Family medical leave Up to 20 days paid leave per year for medical care, etc. of a family member.
Family care leave Up to one year for each family member who requires nursing care or support.
Paid family care leave Up to 20 days paid leave per year for nursing care of a family member who requires nursing care or support.
Short working hours
(family care leave)
Up to three hours per day for nursing care of a family member. Up to one year for the same reason.
Annual paid leave
Twenty days per year in units of 0.5 days, starting from the second year of employment.
Refreshment leave
Two consecutive days paid leave per year.
Special leave
Paid leave taken from any unused annual paid leave (up to 60 days), granted when the employee is unable to work for more than three days due to illness or injury, family care, childcare or social contribution activities. It may be granted in units of 0.5 days for disease treatment or infertility treatment.
Flextime system
No core working hours. Hours worked are counted not in terms of days but over the whole month.
Teleworking
Up to two days per week, eight days per month, regardless of the reason (childcare, family care, etc.).
Community service leave
Two days paid leave per year.
Leave of absence to accompany spouse’s overseas assignment
Leave of absence for up to three years.
Childcare leave
Leave of absence for up to four years, paid for the first five days. Male employees are encouraged to take childcare leave.
Short working hours (childcare leave)
Up to three hours per day to care for a child in sixth grade or younger.
Company childcare center
Established in 2009 near the Ichihara Works & Sodegaura Center.
Family medical leave
Up to 20 days paid leave per year for medical care, etc. of a family member.
Family care leave
Up to one year for each family member who requires nursing care or support.
Paid family care leave
Up to 20 days paid leave per year for nursing care of a family member who requires nursing care or support.
Short working hours
(family care leave)
Up to three hours per day for nursing care of a family member. Up to one year for the same reason.

Childcare Leave Usage Rate (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Please refer here for details of the usage status of other systems.

Program That Supports Employees Returning to Work after Taking Childcare Leave

Mitsui Chemicals has introduced a program that supports employees returning to work. The principal goal is to create an environment that allows employees bringing up young children to return to work smoothly after giving birth to their child or taking childcare leave and to help maintain a high degree of motivation.
The program clarifies the types and details of support for each period from the time before maternity leave through childcare leave to the return to work. Prior to taking leave, the employee and their manager engage in a one-on-one interview to discuss the handover of duties, contact while they are on leave, necessary procedures, and other important issues. Meetings between employees and their managers are also conducted while they are on leave to share details of work styles that will ensure the work environment will accept the employee and details of their duties when they return to work and to ensure mutual understanding. After returning to work, the Company provides an explanation of the procedures and support available from its various programs for employees.
In this manner, every effort is being made to relieve employees’ anxieties with respect to taking maternity and childcare leave as well as returning to work. This in turn helps to alleviate the need to resign from the Company and allows employees to continue their careers.

Return Rate of Employees from Childcare Leave (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

  FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Males 97% 99% 100%
Females 100% 100% 100%
Total 98% 99% 100%

Employee Retention Rate Three Years after Childcare Leave (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

  FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Males 91% 94% 83%
Females 96% 93% 93%
Total 92% 94% 86%

Job Evaluations for Persons Taking Childcare/Family Care Leave

Mitsui Chemicals has a program designed to prevent childcare or family care leave from affecting promotion or assessments for payments, bonus payments, etc.
Under the company's employee evaluation system, the ceiling for job evaluations for the fiscal year is determined by the work attendance rate. However, an evaluation ceiling is not set for persons on childcare or family care leave as long as they meet a specified attendance rate for the evaluation period. Their job performance while at work is evaluated fairly, and if their attendance rate is lower than certain standard, they are exempted from the job evaluation (no rating), so as not to affect their job evaluation or promotion.

Improving the Acquisition of Paid Leave

In the drive to work style reform, Mitsui Chemicals is working to raise the rate of annual paid leave (20 days). We are taking the following actions to improve the acquisition of paid leave, to support the physical and mental health of employees.

Measures to Promote Work Style Reforms

  • Recommendations for the planned acquisition of extended leave and continuous leave
  • Designation of workdays that fall between holidays as days to support the acquisition of paid leave
  • Tabulation of paid leave acquisition rates by worksite and report and guidance based on the findings
  • Review of the concentration of workloads on specific employees
  • Schedule sharing within the worksite

Paid Leave Usage Rate (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 Goals
Non-management
staff
81% 79% 83% 86%
Management staff 56% 56% 62% 70% 70%
Total 70% 69% 74% 79%

Response to COVID-19

In 2019, Mitsui Chemicals introduced a teleworking program for up to eight days per month.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this ceiling on teleworking was temporarily lifted in February 29, 2020. Teleworking was implemented as the basic work scheme in the head office, starting on March 4. In response to the declaration of the state of emergency by the Japanese government on April 7, Mitsui Chemicals organized the following work scheme during the period to reduce COVID-19 exposure among employees and to maintain the company's business functions. When the state of emergency was lifted on May 25, Mitsui Chemicals introduced guidelines on work schemes, etc. Studies are expected to be conducted on new working styles for the post- COVID-19 society.

Infectious diseases countermeasures

Before declaration of the state of emergency (from March 4, 2020)
· Teleworking program implemented as the basic work scheme for the head office
State of emergency period (from April 7, 2020)
· Teleworking program implemented as the basic work scheme for all business sites
· No domestic or overseas business travel
· Cancellation of all internal and external social gatherings and receptions organized for business purposes
Lifting of the state of emergency (from May 25, 2020)
· Teleworking recommended (work scheme adjusted to keep employees working in offices to less than 50%)
· No domestic business travel unless absolutely necessary
· Internal and external social gatherings and parties organized for business purposes to be kept to the minimum

Labor-management Relations Based on Frank Dialog and Mutual Understanding

Mitsui Chemicals has incorporated the realization of its Corporate Mission and the achievement of the happiness and self-fulfillment of employees as common goals in its labor-management agreements and is working to build constructive and stable labor-management relations. In order to help achieve 2025 long-term targets, labor and management are endeavoring to share and exchange opinions regarding a host of management issues. Efforts are also being made to engage in ongoing frank discussions between labor and management on such themes as improving productivity as well as the work-life balance of employees. In this manner, we are working to lay the necessary foundation so that employees can work in a more enjoyable and meaningful manner. Moreover, we have adopted a rule that employees must generally be notified at least one month prior to transfers that entail moving and relocation.

Major Labor-management Discussion Themes (Fiscal 2019)

  • Revision of human resources system
  • Bonus amounts and profit sharing
  • Revision of the increase in wages
  • Explanation of the management conditions

Mitsui Chemicals has adopted a union shop system; all employees that are eligible to join a labor union under the labor-management agreement agreed upon by labor and management join the labor union. The Mitsui Chemicals Labor Union represents all non-management staff, and the negotiation outcomes between labor and management are applied to all non-management staff without any conditions. According to the labor-management agreement, management staff and other employees at or above the management level are not eligible to join the union. Union membership in the total employees including managers is 54.5%.
Overseas sites are operated in a way that allows labor unions to be formed under the labor-related laws of each country and under the freewill of the employees. We do not take any actions whatsoever to limit such moves.

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