Seven & i Holdings is promoting the concept of "work-life synergy," which aims to create synergies by utilizing the perspective of a consumer in work while simultaneously leveraging the lessons of work in life. We have a range of assistance systems that exceed minimum legal requirements to enable diverse employees work with peace of mind. To make it even easier for employees to work, we are also taking steps to correct long working hours and encourage the use of paid leave.
Since November 2014, the Seven & i Group has implemented various systems that go beyond legal minimums to enable employees, including part timers, to continue working with peace of mind while engaging in childcare or nursing care.
For example, at Ito-Yokado, 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 reduced work 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.|
Seven-Eleven Japan began the "Spot Day Care" initiative in October 2016 to support the careers of employees with small children. Seven-Eleven Japan, the franchise chain headquarters, is responsible for providing support for franchised stores, and is involved in distribution and retail operations, so holidays and the New Year's vacation period, which are peak times for retail, are basically working days. However, for employees raising small children, it can be difficult to find day care on holidays, over New Year's and during other extended vacation periods, so this initiative establishes temporary day care facilities in company meeting rooms and at facilities near the company's business offices. It was started on a trial basis at four business offices, and starting in May 2017 it was put into full operation and extended to 21 offices.
Further, in May 2017, Spot Day Care was introduced on a trial basis at 14 companies in the Seven & i Group to help create a working environment that sufficiently enables employees to pursue their careers.
Ito-Yokado 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 in June 2015. "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. Ito-Yokado 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. Ito-Yokado 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 Seven & i 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 the fiscal year ended February 28, 2017, 44 male employees took childcare leave at Seven & i Holdings, along with 461 at Seven-Eleven Japan, and 498 at Ito-Yokado.
In addition, Seven-Eleven Japan has created a handbook on the childcare and nursing care leave to promote understanding of the programs and encourage their use. It introduces the significance of the programs and how to apply to utilize them in an easy-to-understand manner. Moreover, at Ito-Yokado, 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 29, 2016, the Seven & i Group 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 regular 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. Further, a family care community was established in 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. In October 2016, we produced the Handbook for Helping Employees to Balance Work and Family Care Responsibilities, with a view to using it in all Group companies to support the creation of working environments that make it easy to balance these commitments.
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, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, 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, 2017, 33 Group employees took volunteer leave.
Seven Bank established a telework system in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, that allows employees to continue to perform their jobs if they have difficulty commuting due to pregnancy, childcare or family care responsibilities, an injury or other reason.
Seven & i Holdings conducts various initiatives throughout the Group to restrict long working hours. The internal newsletter distributed to the Group's approximately 70,000 employees contains a monthly column on working styles to raise awareness, and in our Diversity Management Seminars conducted since 2014, there are lectures by specialists and presentations on progressive initiatives at other companies related to work styles. Around 4,000 employees in total from 28 Group companies have attended the seminars as of the end of February 2017. Many of the seminar participants work to increase communication with their subordinates and take further action to improve working styles. In addition, restricting long working hours requires that measures be taken at the Group business level. Measures are being devised by individual companies to reflect their individual characteristics based on the results of the Employee Opinion Survey. Progress is communicated through the Work Satisfaction Improvement Committee, which is made up of representatives from each company, in order to promote improvement activities. Good examples are also shared with the Corporate Culture and Ethics Subcommittee, which is under the CSR Management Committee, to extend exceptional initiatives to other Group companies.
We are working to reduce long working hours while engaging with each individual employee. At sales meetings, talks by the president and other management members on work style reforms are communicated to further raise awareness, and examples of initiatives that were successful in reducing overtime are shared at area meetings. We are also working to reduce overtime by instituting a new attendance management system that can perform real-time monitoring of overtime and use of leave for both managers and staff members. In addition, the Leave-Taking Promotion Day is held six days a year to encourage employees to make use of their annual paid leave.
Overtime and paid leave taken at each store is shared each month with all employees to further raise awareness. In addition, working hours, overtime hours and other work records, along with how many holidays and leave days are being taken can be compared and analyzed on an employment management system for each individual, sales floor, and store. When safety and health committees are convened each month at the store level, they use this system to discuss the causes of long working hours and improvement measures. At divisions that have issues, labor and management work together to make improvements to operations.
"No Overtime Week" initiatives are also being conducted to restrict long working hours. Employees personally designate three weeks out of eight weeks as no overtime weeks, and this is incorporated into their work schedules in advance. This creates a follow-up system at the workplace level. Managers with employees that have worked over a certain number of hours of overtime in a given week meet with that employee to discuss how to raise work efficiency starting the next week and share the results with the Labor Division. In this way initiatives are conducted for more highly valuing the private time of employees by reducing their overtime.