Seven & i Holdings has assistance systems to enable employees, including part-time employees, to continue working while attending to childcare and family care. These systems exceed the minimum legal requirements. We have also revamped the systems and extended applicable periods to make it even easier for employees to continue working.
Since November 2014, Seven & i Holdings has been phasing in a childcare leave system to promote participation in childcare by men. The system is for employees with pre-school aged children, and the leave is available in units of one day, and is paid. The system allows employees to take leave for general reasons related to childcare, such as nursing a sick child, or attending events at day care or kindergarten. With increasing awareness among men regarding childcare and a rise in the number of households with two working parents, the childcare leave system has been used effectively since its introduction.
At IY, which has some 40,000 employees, the most among the Group's operating companies, there is a childbirth and childcare program and a family care program that can be utilized by employees, both men and women, who have worked at the company for a least a year; the programs are also available to part-time employees. The programs may be freely selected for use by individual employees, and combining a leave program with a short working hours plan is also possible.
Ito-Yokado's Childcare and Family Care Assistance Systems
|Childcare Assistance System||Family Care Assistance System|
|Reduced work hours||Employees can work reduced hours until April 15 of the year their child starts junior school.
||Employees can work reduced hours for up to three years following the initial reason.
|Work until 7:00 p.m.||Full-time employees can end their workday at 7:00 p.m. until April 15 of the year their child starts junior high school||None|
|Leave||Employees can return to work after taking leave for up to two years.
||Employees can take up to a one year of leave following the initial reason. The leave can also be split up and taken at different times.
|Re-employment||Employees resigning to focus on childcare are given priority in hiring for three years.||Employees resigning to focus on family care are given priority in hiring for three years.|
IY has become the first company in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area to receive "Platinum Kurumin" Mark certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, following a revision of the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children. "Platinum Kurumin" is awarded to companies that have already received "Kurumin" certification and have advanced use of systems to support balancing work with childcare to a significant degree while implementing measures at a high level. The system was established in 2015 to promote continued initiatives. IY has already received the "Kurumin" certification twice, and has actively utilized its Re-Challenge Plan, a personnel system for supporting childcare to help workers balance work and childcare. Other initiatives include holding opinion exchange events with employees who are involved in childcare, diversity seminars at store manager meetings, and promoting the taking of annual paid leave by employees, especially part-time workers. These activities were highly rated. IY will make even further efforts to create an environment where employees can work with peace of mind going forward.
To promote greater participation by men in childcare, a childcare leave program has been phased in at Group companies since November 2014. The program provides five special vacation days per year that can be used in one-day increments to employees with pre-school aged children. Since the program was started, it has been used by many employees for various reasons involving their children, such as when their spouse gives birth, or to attend kindergarten entrance and graduation ceremonies or participate in field day events.
In addition, SEJ has created a handbook on utilizing childcare and nursing care leave to promote understanding of the programs. It introduces the significance of the programs and how to apply to utilize them in an easy-to-understand manner. Moreover, at IY, a community has been established for male employees involved in childcare. It provides participants the opportunity to think about their own work-life balance as well as consider the productivity and working formats of their divisions.
Along with promoting active roles for women since the fiscal year ending February 28, 2015, Seven & i Holdings also works to help employees balance their jobs with family care responsibilities. In the near future, approximately 70% of employees may be involved in balancing these two responsibilities, so it is expected to become a major issue going forward.
Given this expectation, since June 2015 we have conducted seminars with outside experts on preparing in advance for family care responsibilities since it is important to be ready before the need for care arises. Employees have been extremely interested in the topic and many have participated in the seminars. The issue of balancing work and family care has also been taken up at the diversity management seminars held for managers, and outside instructors lecture on how supervisors can provide support for staff members facing the issue to help create workplace conditions that make a balance possible. Further, a family care community has been established as of November 2015 for employees engaged in balancing work and family care. It works to eliminate anxiety by identifying issues related to the balance and by building networks.
To support employee participation in local community activities for people with disabilities, family care support, environmental beautification, disaster reconstruction support, and other objectives, Seven & i Holdings, SEJ, IY, York Mart, Seven & i Food Systems, and Seven Bank have instituted a volunteer leave system under which employees can take five days off per year for volunteer work. In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, 15 Group employees took volunteer leave.
Seven Bank established a telework system in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, that allows employees with difficulty commuting due to pregnancy, childcare or family care responsibilities, an injury or other reason continue to perform their jobs.
Through the CSR Management Committee's Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee, Seven & i Holdings is working to improve the working environment by sharing measures implemented at Group companies for reducing overtime work by employees.