Sojitz Corporation


Sojitz Expands Family Care Support Programs

- Programs Support Work Environments that Enable Employees to Provide Family Care, Enhancing the Work-Life Balance -

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Jan. 28, 2011
Sojitz Corporation

Sojitz Corporation has established four new programs designed to create a work environment that helps employees provide nursing to family members care while maintaining their jobs with greater peace of mind in response to the rapid aging of Japan’s population. The four programs are: a greater number of family care leave days; a reduced working hours program; a program to re-hire employees who leave the Company to care for family members; and allowing employees to take long term leave for family care multiple times. This is the first time that a trading company has simultaneously introduced multiple programs in response to the diverse family care related needs of employees. The new programs will be introduced on April 1, 2011.

As a result of the increase in the number of days of family care leave that employees can take, even after employees take the maximum 25 days of leave (30 days in the case of two or more care recipients), they will be able to use accumulated vacation time as long-term medical leave to provide family care. This will provide a maximum of 85 days (90 days in the case of two or more care recipients) of leave annually.

Under the reduced working hours program, employees may work reduced hours or select how many days per week they work for up to three years for each care recipient. Employees can postpone their starting time or leave work early by as much as 2 hours and 15 minutes in 15-minute increments each day. Alternatively, employees can opt to work three or four days per week.

The program for re-hiring employees who leave the Company to care for a family member will create future employment opportunities for those employees who wish to return to work within three years after leaving.

Under the multiple family care long term leave program, employees can take family care leave multiple times to care for the same individual for the same condition up to a total of 183 days of leave.

The introduction of these new programs is the result of ongoing investigations concerning the creation of a work environment that supports family care following the Company’s responses to the June 2010 amendments to the Childcare and Family Care Act. The new programs create a family care support environment that goes beyond the requirements of the law.

In addition to introducing these programs, the Company is investigating and identifying employee needs with respect to family care by holding in-company seminars, discussions, and dialogues. In January 2011, the Company created a 24-hour family care consultation hotline serviced by an outside expert and introduced a remote family care support service provided by a non-profit organization.

[An in-company seminar on family care]

With respect to childcare support, in addition to existing internal programs including childcare leave, reduced working hours for childcare, and re-hiring of employees who leave the Company to perform childcare, the Company also launched a program for partial reimbursement of daycare expenses in October 2010 to provide additional support. Sojitz received certification under the Next-Generation Education and Support Promotion Act from the Tokyo Labour Bureau and may use the Next-Generation Certification logo.

Sojitz will continue implementing measures that support a healthy work-life balance in response to diversifying work formats that include family care and childcare to create employee-friendly work environments.

Reference Information

Amended Childcare and Family Care Act

Official Title Act on the Welfare of Workers Who Take Care of Children or Other Family Members Including Child Care and Family Care Leave
Effective date June 30, 2010
(family care only)
Supporting Family Care and Work
  • In the five-year period starting in 2002, approximately 500,000 workers stopped working or changed jobs to provide care to a family member.
  • There are many workers who use vacation time or are absent from work to provide day-to-day care to family members.
Companies must establish short-term family care leave programs to accommodate employees who need to take family members who require care to the hospital and provide other similar forms of nursing care (five days annually in the case of one care recipient and 10 days annually in the case of two care recipients).

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