Material Issue 4 Supporting the Active Role of Women, Youth and Seniors across the Group and in Society

Achieving Work-Life Balance

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.

  • SDGs5 GENDER EQUALITY
  • SDGs8 DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
  • SDGs10 REDUCED INEQUALITIES

Enhancing Systems for Diverse Workstyles

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 at 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 high school.
*Can be combined with other leave programs.
Employees can work reduced hours for up to three years following the initial reason.
*Can be combined with other leave programs.
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.
*Up to three years depending on the circumstances
(Can be combined with short working hours).
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.
*Can be combined with short working hours.
Reemployment 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.

Limitations on/exemption from overtime work

Exemption from late night work
Exemption from/limitation on overtime work and exemption from late night work until April 15 of the year in which the employee’s child reaches 1st year junior high school allowed When providing nursing care for a family member, employees may have limitations on or be exempted from overtime work. They may be exempt from late night work
Child nursing care/nursing care leave When giving nursing care to a child of pre-school age, employees may take up to five days off per year for one child or 10 days off (paid) for two children or more in half day units When providing nursing care for a family member, employees may take up to five days off per year for one family member or 10 days off (paid) for two family members or more in half day units
Childcare leave

If an employee has a pre-school aged child, they may take up to five days off per year (paid) for childcare


Support for child-rearing by employees

SEJ began the “Spot Day Care” initiative in October 2016 to support the careers of employees with small children.

At SEJ, the franchise chain headquarters, holidays and the New Year vacation period, which are peak times for stores, are basically working days. However, for employees raising small children, it can be difficult to find day care on holidays, over New Year, 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 27 offices, with the aim going forward for expansion nationwide. As of the end of the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, a total of 1,016 employees had utilized the system, with a total of 1,301 children having been cared for at these facilities.

Spot Day Care was expanded to 14 Seven & i Group companies starting in May 2017, creating environments where employees can pursue their careers throughout the Group.

In October 2017, two Seven Nanairo Nursery Schools were opened in Ota-ku, Tokyo, and Hiroshima City. These facilities are available for use by Seven- Eleven store operators and employees as well as local residents and SEJ employees. An additional school was opened in Sendai City in July 2018, and in Machida City, Tokyo and Kyoto City in June 2019, with plans to open additional schools in stages.

Ito-Yokado has introduced eight daycare facilities comprising authorized daycare centers and corporate-led nurseries as tenants in its shopping centers in Tokyo and four other prefectures. These facilities are used by employees and local residents.

At a Spot Day Care facility

The exterior of a Seven Nanairo Nursery School

Promotion of Childcare Leave-taking by Men

To promote greater participation by men in childcare, a childcare leave program has been introduced at Seven & i Group companies since 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, 2019, 45 male employees took childcare leave at Seven & i Holdings, along with 592 at SEJ, and 467 at Ito-Yokado.

The Seven & i Group is also taking measures to encourage male employees to take childcare leave including producing and displaying posters targeting male managers and leave-takers.

A poster encouraging male employees to take childcare leave

A poster targeting managers

Recognition by Outside Parties of Support for Childcare

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 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 introducing childcare leave systems and 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.  

Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, Sogo & Seibu, YorkBenimaru, Seven & i Food Systems and Seven Bank have received the“Kurumin” certification.

Corporate certification ceremony (June 2015)

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Support for Balancing Jobs with Family Care Responsibilities

The Seven & i Group also works to help employees balance their jobs with family care responsibilities. A survey of family care responsibilities being provided by employees revealed that in the near future, approximately 70% of employees might have to balance work with nursing care, making this likely to become a major issue for the future. From 2015, we have been regularly holding Family Care Responsibility Seminars with external experts as prior preparation for handling such responsibilities, In 2016, we produced the Handbook for Helping Employees to Balance Work and Family Care Responsibilities, with a view to using it in training etc. at all Group operating companies to support the creation of working environments that make it easy to balance these commitments. Tools for conveying information on family care and preventing job separation as a result of family care for use at meetings and so on were distributed to Group companies in 2017, increasing opportunities for more employees to deepen their understanding regarding family care. 

In addition, we are endeavoring to create environments that make it easy for employees to balance their job with family care responsibilities through efforts including actively informing employees about a consultation desk and writing about case examples of balancing such responsibilities with work in the company newsletter.

System to Allow Telework

Seven Bank and Nissen Holdings group companies established a telework system 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.

Restricting Long Working Hours

Seven & i Group conducts various initiatives 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 5,400 employees from Group companies have attended 19 seminars as of the end of February 2019. Many of the seminar participants work to increase communication with their subordinates and take further action to improve working styles.

Implementation of Sliding Work Hours

Seven & i Holdings and SEJ have implemented a system for staggered commuting times and sliding work hours from spring 2018 enabling employees to select their work times based on private reasons. Employees are eligible to select 8 a.m., 9 a.m., or 10 a.m. as their work start times. The aim of this is to allow employees to select their own work start time, thereby promoting active and efficient work styles. SEJ has achieved utilization results of over 80% for the staff department in particular, and this effort is leading to enhanced private time for staff as well as reduced commuting burdens.

Implementation of Sliding Work Hours

In July 2017, Seven & i Holdings and SEJ collaborated with Tokyo-based Jisa Biz to conduct a trial of staggered commuting times. Employees at the Head Office and offices in the Tokyo region were eligible to select 8 a.m., 9 a.m., or 10 a.m. as their morning work start times. The result was a decrease in overtime throughout the company. SEJ received the Jisa Biz Promotion Award in the Promotion Category from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for this initiative.
After verifying the results of the trial introduction, Seven & i Holdings and SEJ established formal programs and introduced them on a full scale in March and April 2018 respectively. In November 2016, SEJ established a program to encourage employees to take time off (six days per year) in addition to special holidays designated by the company.

Implementation of Volunteer Leave System

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 28, 2019, 16 Group employees took volunteer leave.

Initiatives for Material Issue 4