Mitsui Chemicals

Human Resources Management

Employee-friendly Working Environment

Maintaining a “high regard for people and society” is the basis of the Human Resources Policy of the Mitsui Chemicals Group. Guided by this policy, we strive to achieve “high levels of sustainable growth” in conjunction with the “happiness and self-fulfillment of our employees”. Against this backdrop, support measures in tune with the life events of each and every employee are becoming increasingly important to an environment in which each employee can maintain a high degree of motivation and continue to generate results.

A Message from the President

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is targeting operating income of ¥200 billion in 2025 under its Long-term Business Plan. In order to achieve this lofty goal, it is vital that each and every member of the Group takes up this unprecedented challenge and pursues every possible avenue while rethinking their approach to certain concepts and work.
Equally important is the need for management to take the lead in ensuring the sound health of all employees, raising productivity, and putting in place an environment in which creativity is the norm. By addressing each of the following issues, I pledge to promote work style reform across the Mitsui Chemicals Group.

<Work Style Reform at Mitsui Chemicals>

1. Strive to ensure that the sum total of overtime and hours worked on designated holidays for each individual employee is less than 80 hours for each month

  • Executive manager and management staff will take the initiative in reforming mindsets and promoting varied work styles.
  • Management staff will review operational processes as well as human resources systems and improve operational efficiency while strictly controlling the number of hours worked.
  • Employees will abandon the notion that the number of hours worked will lead to a favorable assessment and in principle endeavor to carry out their duties within scheduled working hours.

2. Looking beyond child and family care needs, promote the utilization of the work-from-home program in order to address a host of issues. This includes efforts to improve the work-life balance of employees, increase productivity, secure outstanding human resources, and improve business continuity in periods of emergency

  • Management staff will take the initiative and incorporate working from home as a viable option. Thought will also be given to the effective management of subordinates with respect to working from home hours.
  • Employees will consider how they can raise productivity with respect to their duties while working from home and endeavor themselves to put in place the necessary environment.
  • Related departments will establish rules regarding the promotion of work from home and put in place the necessary framework.

Tsutomu Tannowa
President and CEO
January 1, 2017

Reducing Overtime

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is striving to ensure that the sum total of overtime and hours worked on designated holidays for each individual employee is less than 80 hours for each month. When an employee is found to have worked more than 80 hours of overtime each month, the Human Resources Division conducts an interview with workplace superiors, and reviews and executes specific measures towards discovering the cause of the overtime and making improvements for each individual employee. The results of these efforts have significantly reduced the number of workers with overtime over the past five years. We will continue this initiative in order to ensure that “no employees exceed 80 hours.”

Initiative Example

In general, chemical plants operate continuously for long periods of time, but it is necessary to conduct periodic maintenance during which the entire plant is shutdown for a specific, limited period of time in order to make repairs and inspections that both minimize the impact on production and ensure a sufficient level of facility safety. In order to avoid concentrating tasks during the specified periods when this periodic maintenance takes place, we have been working to review tasks and reinforce personnel. Starting in fiscal 2016, we have provided skill training aimed at reducing overtime. Non-management staff are provided with time management training, during which they are taught specific approaches to reviewing working habits, scheduling, and e-mail handling. Management staff are provided with organization management workshop training, during which they acquire specific approaches to holding meetings and to efficiently managing organizations. Workshop attendees also create plans to reduce overtime. In fiscal 2017, we held each training session twice, which were attended by 37 non-management staff and 29 management staff. Training for fiscal 2018 is scheduled in the same manner as in fiscal 2017.

Number of Employees whose Overtime Exceeded 80 Hours/Month (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Number of Employees whose Overtime Exceeded 80 Hours/Month (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Responding to Life Events

Mitsui Chemicals has put in place various programs that exceed statutory requirements in response to employees’ circumstances outside work including child and family care. These programs encompass paid leave, unpaid leave, and working hours while also taking individual earnings and costs into consideration. Every effort has also been made to increase awareness toward these programs.
In order to encourage mainly male employees to take childcare leave, the Company has introduced additional incentives, which include treating the first five days as paid leave. As a result, the utilization rate among male employees is increasing steadily. In the case of family care leave, eligibility was originally limited to those who care for a person requiring long-term care. Mitsui Chemicals has also expanded the eligibility of family care leave for employees who care for a person requiring support.
Moving forward, we will work to increase the use of the Company’s various programs by upgrading our ICT environment, reviewing work flows, and promoting measures that help change the mindset of the organization as a whole.

List of Support Measures That Help Balance Life Events and Work Commitments (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.)

  Permanent Employees Contract Employees
Re-employment Indefinite-term contract and part-time Fixed-term contract and part-time
Holidays, Vacation, and Leave 5-day workweek (Saturday and Sunday holidays)
Public holidays and New Years Holidays (company holidays)
Annual paid leave (20 days/year, starting during the second year of employment*)
Leave for those on an unaccompanied assignment to return home*  
Marriage leave (8 consecutive days)*  
Refreshment leave (two consecutive days off/ year)*  
Leave to care for a sick family member (paid leave*)
Paid family care leave*
Childcare leave (the first five days are treated as paid leave*, eligibility lasts until the end of the fiscal year when the child reaches the age of three*)
Family care leave (eligibility also extended to employees caring for family members certified as being in need of support*, eligibility lasts up to one year*)
Special leave (paid leave, leave for illness or injury, family care leave, childcare leave, leave to participate in social activities)*  
Leave of absence to accompany spouse’s overseas assignment*    
Social activities leave (paid leave)*  
Working Hours Shortened working hours (childcare/family care leave)*
Restrictions on overtime (childcare/family care leave)
Restrictions on late night work (childcare/family care leave)
Work-from-home program (childcare/family care leave)*  
Company childcare center*
Flextime system (without core period)*
Income Maternity pay*    
Childcare assistance*    
Maternity leave allowance*    
Family care leave assistance*    
Subsidies for home-care services*    
Subsidies for babysitting services*    

Measures marked with an asterisk (*) exceed statutory requirements

Childcare Leave Utilization Rate (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Childcare Leave Utilization Rate (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Please refer here for details on the utilization status of other systems.

Program That Supports Employees Returning to Work after Taking Childcare Leave

Mitsui Chemicals formalized a program that supports employees returning to work. The principal goal is to put in place an environment that allows employees rearing young children to return seamlessly to work after giving birth to a child or taking childcare leave and to help instill a high sense of motivation.
The program clarifies the types and details of support for each period from the time before maternity leave through childcare leave to the return to work. Prior to taking leave, each employee and his or her manager engage in one-on-one interviews to discuss the handover of duties, contact details while on leave, various procedures, and other important issues. Meetings between employees and their managers are also conducted while taking leave to share details of work styles as well as systems that ensure an environment to accept employees as well as details of duties after the return to work and to deepen mutual understanding. After returning to work, the Company provides an explanation of procedures and support regarding its various programs.
In this manner, every effort is being made to relieve employees’ anxieties with respect to taking maternity and childcare leave as well as returning to work. This in turn helps to alleviate the need to resign from the Company and allows employees to continue their careers.

Return Rate and Retention Rate of Employees Having Taken Childcare Leave (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

  FY2017
Return Rate from Childcare Leave (%) Males 97
Females 100
Total 98
Retention Rate Three Years After Returning from Childcare Leave (%) Males 91
Females 96
Total 92

Toward Work-life Balance and Promoting Work Style Reform

Mitsui Chemicals is working to increase the rate at which employees utilize the Company’s 20-day annual paid leave program as a way to reform the way people work. In order to lift the utilization rate of employees in management positions, which currently remains particularly low, the Company has implemented a compulsory "refreshment leave" system that in principle requires employees to take two consecutive leave days. Among a host of endeavors, the Human Resources Division puts forward various requests. Work days that are sandwiched between holidays are treated as “days to support the taking of paid leave.” Managers are requested not to arrange meetings and issue instructions regarding non-urgent work to subordinates on these days. Through these means, we are creating an environment that allows employees to take leave easily.

Measures Relating to the Promotion of Work Style Reforms

  • Encouraging employees to systematically take long-term leave
  • Putting in place days to support the taking of paid leave
  • Encouraging employees to take half-day afternoon leave on Premium Friday (excluding Works and branches)
  • Calculate, inform and provide guidance about the annual paid leave utilization rate by workplace
  • Run telework trials

Annual Paid Leave Utilization Rate (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 Goals
Annual Paid Leave Utilization Rate (%) Non-management staff 86 81 79
Management staff 63 56 56 60
Total 76 70 69

Employee Engagement Survey

The Mitsui Chemicals Group aims to develop a corporate culture by which the company acts as a single team that encourages employees to take up challenges and respect diversity. As a more advanced version of the various surveys we have conducted in the past, the Group will distribute the Employee Engagement Survey in fiscal 2018. This survey will be conducted at every Mitsui Chemicals Group company throughout the world, and will help grasp our employees’ morale and desire to contribute towards executing strategies, as well as help grasp the corporate and organization culture at the global level. In addition, the survey will help discover issues, and help plan and execute initiatives.

Support Childcare at the Ichihara Dream Plaza, Mitsui Chemicals Daycare Center

The Ichihara Dream Plaza, Mitsui Chemicals Daycare Center opened near Ichihara Works and the Sodegaura Center in Chiba in April 2009 to provide support for employees who continue to work while bringing up children. The center's capacity was increased to 30 children in fiscal 2011. The south wall of the center is made entirely from glass with a host of improvement features including under-floor heating.

Labor-management Relations Based on Frank Dialog and Mutual Understanding

Mitsui Chemicals has incorporated the realization of its Corporate Mission and the achievement of the happiness and self-fulfillment of employees as common goals in its labor agreements and is working to build constructive and stable relations with labor. In order to help achieve 2025 long-term targets, labor and management are endeavoring to share and exchange opinions regarding a host of management issues. Efforts are also being made to engage in ongoing frank discussions between labor and management on such themes as improving productivity as well as the work-life balance of employees. In this manner, we are working to lay the necessary foundation so that employees can work in a more enjoyable and meaningful manner. Moreover, we have adopted a rule that employees must generally be notified at least one month prior to transfers that entail moving and relocation.

Major Labor-management Discussion Themes (fiscal 2017)

  • Revision of the increase in starting salaries
  • Bonus amounts and profit sharing
  • Revision of the re-employment system
  • Revision of the increase in wages
  • Explanation of the management condition

Mitsui Chemicals operates as a union shop; therefore, all employees that are eligible to join a labor union under the labor agreement agreed upon by labor and management join the labor union. The Mitsui Chemicals Labor Union represents all non-management staff, and the negotiation outcomes between labor and management are applied without condition to all non-management staff. Moreover, management staff and other employees on or above the management level are not eligible to join the union as per the labor-management agreement.
Overseas sites are operated in a way that allows labor unions to be formed under the labor-related laws of each country and under the freewill of the employees. We do not take any actions whatsoever to limit such moves.