The JVCKENWOOD Group has been stepping up its initiatives to help employees achieve a good balance between their work and family life (work-life balance: WLB), with the aim of positively embracing employees’ diverse lifestyles and work styles. Three pillars underpin these efforts – supporting childcare/nursing care, reducing overtime work, and encouraging employees to take annual leave – and the Work Style Reform Project was initiated in FY2017.
Recognizing the importance of managerial employees who play a central role in promoting diversity management, JVCKENWOOD joined the “Ikuboss Corporate Alliance,” advocated by specified nonprofit corporation Fathering Japan in fiscal 2019 in order to help them understand the career paths and value of their subordinates and manage them accordingly. The word ikuboss refers to an ideal superior (a management executive or a person in a managerial position) who attempts to realize a good work-life balance for subordinates or staff working together in his or her workplace, supports their careers and lives while delivering good business results, and enjoys his or her own work and private life. We organized a lecture in October 2019 to promote understanding and raise awareness of Ikuboss among managerial employees.
Mr. Tetsuya Ando, Representative Director, Fathering Japan (right) and Masaki Imai, Director of the Board of JVCKENWOOD (left) (*The titles were at the time of the photo opportunity.)
A variety of programs have been set up to support both childcare/nursing care and work. Support programs related to childcare are available through the end of the first March after the child reaches 12 years of age, with coverage being offered until the child graduates from elementary school. Programs that allow leave or shorter working hours for nursing care have made it easier for employees to continue working while providing nursing care. The number of persons utilizing the childcare shorter working hours (flex-time) program in particular has increased in recent years, with workplace superiors and colleagues becoming more understanding. In October 2019, training was held for employees with the theme of “Management that enables employees to exercise their own skills to the maximum.”
In future, we will build support systems that accommodate employee needs and work to ensure that no one has to resign because of childcare or nursing care. In parallel, we will step up the effort to foster a corporate culture that embraces various work styles, thereby working to create a workplace environment that helps deliver better results.
As part of our efforts to support childcare and nursing care alongside work, we have prepared a handbook that compiles basic knowledge and introduces our programs relating to childcare and nursing care and posted it on the in-house Intranet.
Childcare / Nursing Care: A Handbook for a Healthy Balance (Japanese)
With the aim of boosting work productivity, creating a working environment that is friendly to employees with different workstyles and realizing a good work-life balance (WLB), JVCKENWOOD launched a trial telework program in 2017. We also launched a work-at-home program in 2019 for employees who are raising children, looking after family members, receiving medical treatment and/or spending long hours on commuting, and concluded a contract to set up a satellite office. The total number of employees who used the telework program increased significantly in fiscal 2019 to 5,740, due partly to the current situation that’s geared toward preventing the spread of COVID-19. Going forward, as an important measure from the viewpoint of a business continuity plan (BCP) as well, we will continue to work to promote understanding in the workplace and encourage employees to actively adopt and use these programs.
In addition to reducing total working hours, labor and management are working together to set up targets that encourage employees to take their annual leave time. Labor and management have together recommended that employees take five consecutive days of leave, and the number of days of annual leave taken in FY2019 averaged 19.3 days per employee. We will continue encouraging employees to take scheduled leave, hoping to have employees across the company take 20 days of leave per year in 2020.
List of programs and usage in FY2017-2019
|Topic||Program name||Program description||No. of employees using program|
|General leave of absence||Annual paid leave||
Average annual number of days off work per person
* Aiming to enable employees to take at least 20 days off work a year by FY2020.
|16.5 days||16.4 days||19.3 days|
To take leave until the end of April following the child's first birthday or the end of the month in which the child reaches two years of age
|Reduced working hours for childcare||
To reduce work time up to two hours per day, separately from statutory childrearing time, for childrearing until the first March 31 after the child reaches 12 years of age
|Sick/injured childcare leave||
To take five days’ leave per year to look after sick/injured children (10 days if there are two or more children) until the first March 31 after the child reaches 12 years of age
|Nursing care-related||Nursing care leave||
To take a cumulative maximum of one year of leave, until nursing care is no longer required, per family member who requires nursing care.
|Reduced working hours for nursing care||
To reduce work time by up to two hours per day until nursing care is no longer required
|Nursing care days off||
Take five days’ leave per year to look after a family member who requires nursing care (10 days if there are two or more such family members)
|Overtime work||Limitation of overtime work and night work||
To be exempt from overtime work of more than 24 hours per month or 150 hours per year and from night work if so requested by employees raising children who have not reached the first March 31 after becoming 12 years of age or those taking care of family members who require nursing care
|Other||System to register retirees for reemployment||
Employees who have left the company because of pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, nursing care, or a spouse being transferred can be registered for reemployment on retirement.
In order to make individual employees more time-conscious and improve efficiency to achieve a better work-life balance, JVCKENWOOD has launched the Meri-Hari Work Project (time management project), distributing time-to-leave cards to each employee to hold it to show their time to go home at one’s desk. We have also reviewed the work process to establish a time-conscious work style and developed and distributed a handbook that includes methods and examples to improve the way of working. This project has been favorably received by employees with comments such as, “I have become more time conscious in daily work and improved work efficiency.”
Time-to-come/leave card in use