Material Issue 5 Improve work engagement and environment for people working in Group businesses

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Seven & i Group 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 curb long working hours and encourage the use of paid leave.


Enhancing Systems for Diverse Workstyles

Seven & i Group has implemented various systems that go beyond legal minimums to enable employees, including part-timers, to continue working comfortably while engaging in childcare or nursing care. For example, there are childbirth and childcare programs and a family care program available for 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 are freely selected by individual employees, and combining a leave program with a reduced work hours plan is also possible.

Further, in addition to childcare or nursing care, the company has newly instituted a system of support for employees who are receiving treatment for infertility, kidney disease, and cancer, and at the same time continuing to work, with a view to accommodating the needs of a diverse array of work styles.

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 by 7:00 p.m. through March 31 of the year their child graduates from 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 within three years. Employees resigning to focus on family care are given priority in hiring within 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
Days off If an employee has a pre-school aged child, they may take up to five days off per year (paid) for childcare

Childcare Support for Employees

Seven & i Group implements various initiatives to provide childcare support to the Group employees.

Operation of Seven Nanairo Nursery Schools

Since October 2017, Seven-Eleven Japan has been operating on-site Seven Nanairo Nursery Schools for the owners and employees of 7-Eleven stores, local residents, and employees of Seven-Eleven Japan. A total of six facilities have been opened in Tokyo (Ota-ku, Setagaya-ku, and Machida), Sendai, Kyoto, and Hiroshima to provide work-friendly environments.


Seven Nanairo Nursery School

Introduction of Daycare Facilities in Stores

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

Return-to-Work Support after Childcare Leave

Seven & i Group companies provide guidance to employees returning to work after taking childcare leave and implement community activities aimed at building networks and allaying the anxieties of child-raising and pregnant employees.

For example, at York every two months in-house information is shared by mail with employees who are on childcare leave to let them know what the latest news is. In addition, to encourage the use of childcare and nursing care programs, efforts are also being made to raise awareness of them through items that run in in-house newsletters. Furthermore, York had been holding orientation sessions four times a year for those persons returning to work after childcare leave on how to go about their return, but these were suspended in the fiscal year ending February 28, 2021, and 2022 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, York held the sessions online in September and February.

Promotion of Participation in Housework and Childcare by Men

The Seven & i Group continuously implements various initiatives across the Group with a view to encouraging men to engage in housekeeping and childcare, with individual Group companies carrying out the same initiatives. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2023, we held online seminars for Group employees to ensure that they all understand the points of the Act on Childcare Leave/Caregiver Leave, and to consider the future of the worksite. Meanwhile, our operating companies have held a variety of educational initiatives in this regard, including displaying posters and sending messages to new parent employees, as well as holding various meetings. In addition, also in order to encourage childcare by male employees, Seven & i Group operates an original childcare leave program for male employees as of 2014. This program enables employees with preschool-age children to take five special paid days off per year in one-day increments. 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, to attend a kindergarten entrance or graduation ceremony, or to participate in sports days or other events. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, 1,129 male employees from 26 Group companies took these childcare leave and days off.

External Evaluation Related to Childcare Support

Ito-Yokado received “Platinum Kurumin” Mark certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as a company that supports the raising of children. “Platinum Kurumin” is awarded to companies that have already received “Kurumin” certification and have made significant progress in the use of systems to support balancing work with childcare while implementing measures at a high level. The system was established to promote continued initiatives.

In addition, Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, York-Benimaru, Seven & i Food Systems,  Seven Bank, and Seven Financial Service have received the “Kurumin” certification (as of August 31, 2023).


Platinum Kurumin Marks

Support for Balancing Work with Nursing Care

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. So going forward, this is likely to become a major issue. Therefore, Seven & i Group regularly holds family care seminars with external experts to offer prior preparation for handling such responsibilities. 

In addition, we are striving to create working environments that make it easy to balance work with nursing care, including producing the Handbook for Helping Employees to Balance Work and Family Care Responsibilities with a view of using it in training and such at the Group operating companies, informing the employees of consultation desks, and posting cases of employees balancing work with nursing care on our company newsletter.

As a support for balancing work with nursing care, Seven-Eleven Japan revamped the Handbook for Balancing Work and Family Care Responsibilities in 2019. This handbook is posted on the notice board of the intranet so that it can be checked as required by all its employees. Going forward, Seven-Eleven Japan will continue to carry out awareness-raising activities so that it can build a system that balances work with nursing care where employees properly understand knowledge about such balance.


Mainly at head offices, Seven & i Group companies have implemented a telecommuting (work-from-home) system to make effective use of time before and after work. This system aims to improve productivity, achieve a work-life balance, since 2020, prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections, and maintain business continuity.

Curbing Long Working Hours Through the Utilization of Diverse Workstyles

Seven & i Group believes it is important to establish proper work environments to create comfortable workplaces. We work to curb long working hours and raise the percentage of paid leave taken. Specifically, as well as promoting the visualization of overtime work, Group companies promote the review of operations at departments with a lot of overtime work and work allocation and endeavor to foster a corporate culture of seeking to improve the work environment through the implementation of no overtime work days, display of posters, and other measures. Furthermore, the Group has set a target of achieving at least 70% for the percentage of annual paid leave taken. Group companies are taking steps to promote the acquisition of leave, such as by encouraging employees to take long periods of leave twice a year and visualizing leave acquisition plans.

Introduction of Staggered Working Hours

Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, Seven Bank, and other Group companies have introduced staggered working-hour systems enabling employees to choose their working hours. The aim is to realize environments in which individuals can select their workstyles to suit their jobs and individual circumstances and work flexibly. Companies are seeking to promote more active and efficient workstyles by bringing forward or delaying start and finish times. Furthermore, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections, Group companies have expanded the options for start and finish times so that employees can avoid commuting during the crowded rush hour since 2020. Seven-Eleven Japan has achieved utilization results of over 80% for its administrative staff department in particular. This initiative is also leading to enhanced private time for employees and reduced commuting burdens.

Implementation of Variable Working Hours System

Since 2017, Seven & i Food Systems has introduced a one-month variable working hours system that allows work to be planned according to busy and lull periods. Through the introduction of this system, the number of days of paid leave taken by full-time employees increased and the average monthly overtime work also decreased, thereby improving employees’ work-life balance.

Initiatives for Material Issue 5