Japan's working population is expected to dramatically decrease in conjunction with its aging and declining population, and there is apt to be a further increase in the number of employees, both men and women, who work while caring for children or elderly members of their family. In order for Mitsubishi Electric to survive through the tough international competition and realize sustainable growth under these circumstances, it will be essential to create a working environment where all employees can work to their full potential within their limited time.
Various initiatives are in place at Mitsubishi Electric to create a working environment where all employees can work actively while maintaining a good work-life balance.
Support for Flexible Working Styles
Development and availability of childcare and family-care programs in Japan
Mitsubishi Electric is making every effort to fully establish a work-life balance support system that more than satisfies the legal requirements, and to develop workplace conditions that allow employees to comfortably do their jobs and raise children or care for elderly family members. Our childcare leave program can be extended to the month of March following the child's first birthday, or until the end of September at the longest. We also have a program that allows employees to work shorter days when raising their children, and this program can be extended up until the end of March in the year the child graduates from elementary school. Our family-care leave program allows employees with families that meet the requirements to take a leave of absence for more than three years. It also allows employees to work shorter days for up to three years to help them take care of their families. In addition, when the employee is the spouse of an expectant mother, the spouse may take up to five days of special paid leave. There is also a program to provide the spouse with special paid leave to use in certain circumstances such as to participate in a child's school event, a "work-at-home" program for employees providing family care, as well as a re-hiring system for employees who have temporarily left the company to provide family care.
Furthermore, we have made it possible for employees to take half-day absences from work to care for elderly family members or attend to a sick child, and have introduced a reduced working hour system that allows employees to work shorter hours on a certain day of every week, as one form of reducing working hours for family care. We have also relaxed the requirements for our work-at-home program so that employees may work at home up to two days a week to care for elderly family members or children who are still in primary school.
In fiscal 2019, we will further support the work-life balance of our employees by expanding the scope of leaves for a specific purpose (self-support leaves) to include PTA activities. We will also be introducing an hourly leave system that allows employees to take up to 40 hours off from work per year and expand the work-from-home system. In addition, we will support the development of the next generation by introducing a temporary leave system for employees who wish to undergo fertility treatments. There will also be an extension to the scope of the program that allows employees to take an absence from work to take care of sick children who are under elementary school age, to also include children who are currently in elementary school.
To raise employee awareness of these initiatives, we actively disseminate relevant information through a portal site, which features a range of information on work-life balance, such as a list of support systems for employees raising children (see chart below), and interviews with working mothers. We make this information available to employees, managers, and new hires, aiming to create an environment that is conducive to using these support systems. Along with enhancing our programs, we will work to foster a workplace culture in which employees can enrich their personal lives while advancing their careers.
Work-life balance support measures related to childcare
(As of April 2018)
Diamond Kids Day-care centers
To support the career development of employees raising children, Mitsubishi Electric opened Diamond Kids, an onsite day-care center, in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture and Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture on October 1, 2014, with an enrollment of approximately 10 children in each center.
By providing its services in locations adjacent to a Mitsubishi Electric workplace on days and during hours corresponding to the workplace, catering to extended hours, and ensuring security measures that prevent intrusion by suspicious individuals as well as accident prevention measures, Diamond Kids offers a childcare environment that allows employees to fully concentrate on their jobs without worrying about their children. It also promotes employees' return to work after taking a leave, by accepting children all year round.
|Name||Diamond Kids Shonan||Diamond Kids Itami|
|Location||5-1-1 Ofuna, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Within the Information Technology R&D Center
|6-9-22 Tsukaguchi-honmachi, Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture
Within the Mitsubishi Electric Health Insurance Association Itami General Gymnasium BRIO
|Facility area||Floor space: approx. 100m2|
|Enrollment capacity||Approx. 10 children|
|Children's ages||Ages 0 (children over 57 days old) up to enrollment in primary school|
|Eligibility||Mitsubishi Electric employees (not restricted to women)|
|Operating hours||8:00 – 18:00 (extended hours up to 21:00)|
Flextime allows employees to decide on their working hours for themselves so that they may improve their productivity and exercise creativity, and thereby achieve a good balance between their corporate life and personal life. The program may be utilized depending on the specific duties and job performance of each employee.
Working hours are divided into "core time" and "flexible time." Core time is a band of time during which all employees must be present in the office as a rule unless special circumstances exist. Flexible time is a band of time within which employees may choose when they arrive and depart from the office in consideration of the progress of their work and fluctuations in workloads. Specific time bands are determined by each office.
Employees who do not use up their annual paid vacation time by the end of the fiscal year may accumulate up to 20 days of unused vacation time and carry them over to the next fiscal year and onward.
Those who receive company approval to take more than three days off from work to recuperate from an illness, engage in family care, take part in a volunteer activity, etc., may acquire a self-support leave.
Utilization status of childcare and family care programs (by Mitsubishi Electric employees)
|No. of employees who have taken a leave||FY2016||FY2017||FY2018|
|Acquisition rate of leave of absence (%)||-||99%||-||-||98%||-||-||98%||-|
|Reduced working hours for childcare||6||341||347||5||348||353||11||368||379|
|Reduced working hours during pregnancy||-||8||8||-||13||13||-||11||11|
|Family care leave||5||4||9||3||4||7||7||4||11|
|Reduced working hours for family care||4||5||9||5||4||9||4||8||12|
|Prenatal and postnatal absence||-||138||138||-||142||142||-||182||182|
(Unit: No. of employees)
Creating a working environment where work-life balance can be achieved by everyone through a "Work Style Reforms"
Since fiscal 2017, Mitsubishi Electric promotes a "Work Style Reforms" as a management policy, and strives to create a working environment where work-life balance can be achieved by everyone by "creating a corporate culture that places even greater emphasis on achievements and efficiency" and "reforming employees' attitudes toward work."
Each department, organization and office implements specific measures that promote the reform of working styles based on the following four perspectives.
- * JIT (Just in Time): Small-group activities that aim to increase productivity by thoroughly eliminating operational inefficiencies.
"Work Style Reforms"
During the first two years of the initiative, company-wide efforts were made to fully disseminate and establish the initiative. We provided information and promoted employee awareness through posters, in-house newsletters, the internal website and other such tools, and implemented an education campaign to raise awareness of Work Style Reforms for employees in managerial positions. In February 2017, the "President’s Forum on Work Style Reforms" was launched, in which the president of Mitsubishi Electric makes a round of all offices to personally explain the objectives and importance of the initiative to all employees.
In addition to this Group-wide initiative, each office also implements activities that suit their specific situations.
Examples of office-specific activities
- Lectures for management personnel by external lecturers
- Establishing conference rules (50 minutes as a rule, no meetings to be held after 5 p.m., etc.)
- Introducing condensed work times
- Introducing "Refresh Wednesday" to promote work-life balance
At Mitsubishi Electric, Head Office management departments play a central role in streamlining and increasing the efficiency of company-wide operations by promoting the following specific measures.
- Developing an IT environment
- Introducing tablets and eliminating paper documents from executive meetings
- Providing mobile terminals to employees in all offices who need them
- Implementing of video conferences for meetings between remote offices and reduction of business trips
- Realizing flexible working styles by expanding the work-at-home program
- Promoting the use of smartphones outside the company (schedule confirmation, verification tasks, etc.
- Simplifying and reducing company-wide documents
- Simplifying documents by shortening discussion times and schedules in management meetings
- Reducing the number of periodic reports (weekly reports, monthly reports, etc.) issued by each department
- Reviewing report formats
- Promoting indirect JIT* improvement activities
- Analyzing operations by external consultants and implementing JIT improvement activities company-wide
President's Forum on Work Style Reforms
To accelerate the promotion of Work Style Reforms in each office, a dialogue meeting titled "President's Forum on Work Style Reforms" is held in sequence in each area since February 2017 as an opportunity for the president and employees to engage in dialogue on Work Style Reforms. In these meetings, the thoughts of top management about Work Style Reforms, and the direction the company aims to take, are conveyed directly to employees by the president. The meetings also collect onsite feedback on the issues each office faces in promoting reforms and corporate matters, collecting and incorporating them into viable policies.
President's Forum in 2017(1)
President's Forum in 2017(2)