Working with Our Employees

Creating an Employee-Friendly Working Environment

Based on our human resources management policy of “high regard for people and society,” we provide a wide range of programs to support the workplace environments and different lifestyles of each individual employee.

Promoting a Work-Life Balance

We respect our employees as important stakeholders in achieving our corporate mission. We are therefore committed to striking a balance between the sustainable growth of the Mitsui Chemicals Group and the happiness and self-fulfillment of our employees. In order to achieve that balance, our goal is to create a relationship in which the Company and its employees stimulate and actively enhance one another.
With that in mind, we have established an employee-friendly working environment complete with a full range of support programs including short-time work, nursing care leave, subsidies for babysitting and home-care services, and other leave to care for a sick family member, as well as welfare support including refreshment leave .
We will continue making necessary improvements in order to meet the diversified needs of our employees and also to help each employee maintain a work-life balance.

As a way to change the ways people work, we aim to increase the paid leave utilization rate. In order to facilitate leave being taken by those in management positions (senior staff positions and above), among whom the ratio remains particularly low, we are creating an environment in which it is easy to take time off work. For example, the Human Resources Department is requesting internally that meetings not be arranged on working days that are sandwiched between holidays.

Fiscal 2015 Result: Employee average 76% (non-management staff average 86%; management staff average 63%)
Fiscal 2016 Target: Management staff paid leave utilization rate: 60%

General Business Owner Action Plan in accordance with the Next Generation Nurturing Support Measures Promotion Law

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is creating environments in which employees are able to make the most of their capabilities and aiming for harmony between work that they find rewarding and fulfilling private lives.

In the case of time off or leave for childcare or nursing and consideration for working hours, while regarding the system as being more than what is statutorily required to allow due consideration to be given to individual circumstances, we have been devising ways to increase awareness among employees and working to improve the utilization rate. Particularly in the case of childcare leave, as a result of having expanded the requirements with the aim of encouraging male employees to take childcare leave, the number of people taking leave has steadily increased, and use of the system has steadily become more common. (Please refer to utilization results under Use of Childcare and Nursing Care Leave.) The number of people on shorter working hours for childcare has increased year by year to 87, and there are 18 employees making use of the opportunity to work from home. While expanding the OA environment, we will work to expand the utilization of the system in the years to come.

In the case of nursing leave, those eligible were originally only those in need of nursing care, but in deciding on a system that would be easier to use, we expanded the requirements to enable such leave to be taken even by those in the situation of needing support.

List of Support Programs

Time off and leave ● Leave to care for a sick family member
● Nursing care leave
● Childcare leave
● Special leave
● Family care leave (eligibility extended to enable employees to take leave when family members are certified as being in need of support)
● Leave to accompany spouse’s overseas assignment
Working hours ● Reduced work hours for childcare
● Reduced work hours for family care
● Limitation of overtime (childcare / family care)
● Limitation of late night work (childcare / family care)
● Work-from-home program (childcare / family care)
● Company childcare center
Income ● Maternity pay
● Childcare assistance
● Maternity allowance
● Family care assistance
● Subsidies for home-care services
● Subsidies for babysitting services

Use of Childcare and Nursing Care Leave

  FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Number of employees taking childcare leave Females 25 20 21 23 32 29 33
Males 36 54 58 48 49 67 62
Total 61 74 79 71 81 96 95
Number of employees taking
family care leave
0 0 0 1 1 1 0

Staff Comment 1

After the birth of my second child, my first son, I took one month’s childcare leave. As my parents and my wife’s parents live some way away, we were in a difficult situation for receiving support, so I took leave to create an environment in which the family could lead a pleasant life.

My ever playful daughter (then aged two), my son who as yet had no set rhythm to his life, and my wife, who had struggled to face the children regardless of whether it was day or night. Being able to take childcare leave enabled me to concentrate on supporting the family, and we were able to spend the tough times after the birth meaningfully as a complete family. What’s more, taking childcare leave gave me the opportunity to think about how I could be more efficient in my duties after my return to work, and my wife was able to get some idea of a work style of her own after her return.

Telling me that I had to support my wife, my supervisor understood my reasons for taking childcare leave, and I am extremely grateful to my colleagues who carried on with my tasks while I was away. Should the opportunity to use childcare leave fall to a colleague, as well as telling him of my experience, I’d like to offer him the words “offer your support to your wife.”

Isocyanates Section, Urethane Manufacturing Department, Omuta Works
Yasuyuki Kurihara

Staff Comment 2

I was granted just under a month’s childcare leave from the start of the fiscal year on April 1.

Amid problems of waiting for places at daycare causing annoyance, we were fortunate enough to have a nursery school decide in our favor, so thinking of her future career my wife returned to work early.

However, nursery schools only accept children from four months old. An initial one-month childcare adaption period (short-term childcare) was required, when to start with you dropped off and picked up your child in the morning; after that, the situation required childcare at home. As both my wife’s parents and my parents live some way away, it was difficult for me to help out because I also had work, and considering the physical and mental burden on my wife who had not yet returned to work as she had not regained her physical condition after the birth, I was kindly granted childcare leave. The life of replacing my wife on the housework and managing general childcare made for a busy time, but thanks to that childcare leave my wife, child, and I were able to make a steady start on our new life together.

Elastomers Group, Polymeric Materials Laboratory
Research & Development Center
Masatoshi Sasaki

For having been able to support my family in this way, I extend my thanks to my boss for having kindly understood my situation during a hectic time at work and to my colleagues for having supported me during my absence. Compared to the situation in general elsewhere, Mitsui Chemicals has achieved a lot in terms of men taking childcare leave, and the atmosphere facilitates getting advice, but when the time comes to request to use the leave, some men might find it difficult to talk about, as they feel bad that they will end up only adding to their colleagues’ workload. However, the number of married couples who are working is on the increase, and at the time now when the scene is set for women to take a more active role, the systems and creating the atmosphere that enable men to be involved in childcare are certain to gain in importance as years go by. With regard to the workplace where people did me the kindness of understanding and readily accepting a situation that necessitated childcare, next time I feel I will be able to return the favor from the side of giving my own consent.

Ichihara Dream Plaza Mitsui Chemicals Daycare Center

In April 2009, we opened our own Ichihara Dream Plaza daycare center near the Sodegaura Center and Ichihara Works to provide support for employees who continue to work while bringing up children.
By the end of fiscal 2009, the number of children had risen to 20, the maximum capacity of the center. Therefore, we increased the center's capacity to 25 children in fiscal 2010 and to 30 children in fiscal 2011. In April 2016, we welcomed two new children to the center, making the current total 16. The center has under-floor heating as well as a south wall made with windows to allow natural light to brighten up the rooms. The “Ichihara Dream Plaza” is always full of children's laughter.

Labor-Management Relations Based on Frank Dialog and Mutual Understanding

We are committed to establishing a stable, cohesive relationship between labor and management, based on the principles of communication and understanding. In April 2008, we revised our labor agreement and set out a clear emphasis on cooperation between labor and management in areas such as improving productivity, achieving our Grand Design, and developing human resources. We will continue two-way communication between labor and management to lay the necessary foundations for employee satisfaction.