Employee-friendly Working Environment Diversity Global Employee Engagement Survey

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.

A Message from the President

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 my management team, I am committed to promoting work style reform within the Mitsui Chemicals Group by addressing each of the following issues.

Work Style Reform at Mitsui Chemicals

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.

Tsutomu Tannowa
President & CEO

* Each affiliation is from the time when the article was created.

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. 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 superiors, and reviews and implements specific measures to identify the cause of the overtime and make improvements for the individual employee. The results of these efforts have significantly reduced the number of employees with overtime. We will continue this initiative to ensure that “no employee works more than 80 hours.”

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)

Initiative Examples

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. 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. Workshop participants also create plans to reduce overtime. In fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018, we held each training session twice, which were participated in by 62 non-management staff and 59 management staff. The training is to be continued in fiscal 2019.

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. These systems encompass paid leave, unpaid leave and working hours while also taking individual income into consideration. Every effort has been made to increase awareness of these systems.
In order to encourage mainly male employees to take childcare leave, the Company has introduced additional incentives, which include treating the first five days as paid leave. As a result, the number of male employees using the systems is increasing steadily. In the case of family care leave, eligibility was originally limited to employees who care for a person requiring long-term care. Mitsui Chemicals has also expanded the eligibility of family care leave for employees who care for a person requiring support.
We support employees in balancing their work and family life by allowing diverse work styles. As a part of this support, we changed the work-from-home program for childcare/family care leave to a teleworking program in April 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.

*Mr. Junichi Okubo, the CEO of the cancer support organization, “5years” , was invited to hold a dialogue with one of our Managing Executive Officers, Mr. Yoshinori Andou, under the theme of maintaining motivation for life in spite of illness.

List of Support Measures (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.)

Holidays and Leave

Contract Employees
contract and
contract and
Five-day workweek
(Saturday and Sunday are holidays)
Public holidays and New Years Holidays
(company holidays)
Annual paid leave
(20 days/year, start from the second year
of employment *)
Leave for employees who visit
home from an unaccompanied posting *
Marriage leave
(eight consecutive days) *
Refreshment leave
(two consecutive days off/ year) *
Family medical leave
(paid leave *)
Paid family care leave *
Childcare leave
(the first five days are treated as paid leave *,
eligibility lasts until the end of the fiscal year
when the child reaches the age of three *)
Family care leave
(eligibility also extended to employees caring
for family members considered as being
in need of support *,
eligibility lasts up to one year *)
Special leave
(paid leave, leave for illness or injury,
family care leave, childcare leave,
community service leave) *
Leave of absence to
accompany spouse’s overseas assignment *
Community service leave (paid leave) *  

Work Patterns

Contract Employees
Re-employment Indefinite-term
contract and part-time
Fixed-term contract
and part-time
Short working hours
(childcare/family care leave) *
Restrictions on overtime
(childcare/family care leave)
Restrictions on late night work
(childcare/family care leave)
Company childcare center *
Flextime system
(without core time) *


Contract Employees
Re-employment Indefinite-term
contract and part-time
Fixed-term contract
and part-time
Maternity benefits *    
Childbirth benefits *    
Childcare leave benefits *    
Family care leave benefits *    
Subsidies for
home-care services *
Subsidies for
babysitting services *
Retirement allowance *   Dealing with each case individually Dealing with each case individually
Employee stock ownership *

* Measures marked with an asterisk (*) exceed statutory requirements

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
Males 97% 99%
Females 100% 100%
Total 98% 99%

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

  FY2017 FY2018
Males 91% 94%
Females 96% 93%
Total 92% 94%

Improvement in Paid Leave Usage Rate

Mitsui Chemicals is working to increase the rate that employees take annual paid leave (twenty days per year) to reform employees’ work styles. In order to improve the usage rate of employees in management positions, which currently remains particularly low, the Company has implemented a compulsory "refreshment leave" system that in principle requires employees to take leave for two consecutive days. In addition, the Human Resources Division puts forward various requests. Working days that are sandwiched between holidays are treated as “days to support the taking of paid leave.” Managers are requested not to arrange meetings and issue instructions regarding non-urgent work to subordinates on these days. Through these means, we are creating an environment that allows employees to take leave easily.

Measures to Promote Work Style Reforms

  • Encouraging employees to systematically take long-term leave
  • Establish days to support employees in taking of paid leave
  • Calculate, inform and provide guidance on the annual paid leave usage rate for each workplace

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

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 Goals
81% 79% 83%
Management staff 56% 56% 62% 60%
Total 70% 69% 74%

Support Childcare at the Ichihara Dream Plaza, Mitsui Chemicals Daycare Center

The Ichihara Dream Plaza, Mitsui Chemicals Daycare Center opened near Ichihara Works and the Sodegaura Center in Chiba in April 2009 to provide support for employees who continue to work while bringing up children. The center's capacity was increased to 30 children in fiscal 2011. The south wall of the center is made entirely of glass with good facilities including under-floor heating.

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)

  • 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.
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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