We have set up the “Groupwide Help Line” and the “Business Partner Help Line” to prevent conduct that could result in loss of public credibility and to ensure early detection, early remediation, and recurrence prevention. The Groupwide Help Line is for receiving reports from employees of Group companies in Japan, and the Business Partner Help Line for reports from business partners. When a report is received, the Corporate Action Guidelines stipulate that we respond by promptly checking the facts, taking corrective action if a violation is discovered, as well as measures to prevent a recurrence, and dealing strictly with violations.
Seven & i Holdings’ CSR Department and Legal Department keep track of the number and nature of the reports for each Group company, as well as the response, to ensure that the actions taken by the operating companies are appropriate. Moreover, every six months, the CSR Department reports to Seven & i Holdings’ CSR Management Committee and Audit & Supervisory Board (comprising five Audit & Supervisory Board members, of whom three are outside members).
Both help lines have a consultation desk operated by a third party under a service contract and a non-disclosure agreement to protect the privacy of people consulting or whistleblowing, and ensure that the content of their report does not become disclosed publicly or leaked. The help lines receive reports through mail, email, or telephone (reception hours apply for reports by telephone).
To create an environment that facilitates reporting, reports can be made anonymously, while the Corporate Action Guidelines stipulate to employees that people consulting or whistleblowing must not receive any disadvantageous treatment, and the Business Partner Action Guidelines make the same stipulation to business partners. The person is contacted four weeks after completion of the case by the third-party consultation desk to check that they have not suffered retaliation or disadvantageous treatment.
For consultations from customers, each operating company separately provides a Customer Feedback Desk. For details, please visit Improving Customer Satisfaction.
This help line serves employees, their families, and former employees. To ensure that all employees are aware of the system and the contact points, it is explained in employee training, and posters are put up in every workplace and store.
*In addition to the Groupwide Help Line, some Group companies have their own internal reporting consultation desks. The data below is the result from the Groupwide Help Line. Moreover, operating companies in North America and China also have their own internal reporting systems to receive reports and consultation from employees.
The Business Partner Help Line is provided for directors, employees, and former employees of Group companies’ business partners. To ensure that business partners are fully aware of the help line system and the points of contact, we explain it at briefings for business partners and distribute the information in pamphlets.
Example of a Group company
A sales floor staff member dispatched from a business partner made a report regarding power harassment at a Group company store. The sales area supervisor had joined with other sales staff at neighboring sales areas in harassing the staff member, who had subsequently become unable to continue work.
The manager of the store where the staff member worked conducted interviews with other employees working in the same sales area.
After confirming that power harassment had in fact occurred, the sales floor supervisor was reprimanded.