Work-life Balance

Support for Work-life Balance


Kobe Steel is actively working to make the environment more conducive to achieving work-life balance. Receiving high praise for the implemented initiatives, we have been certified as an outstanding Childcare Support Company and received Platinum Kurumin certification.*1 (Obtained in 2019)

Our company has received Kurumin certification twice in the past (2012 and 2015). The Platinum Kurumin*2 certification we received on this occasion was a result of a positive recognition of the initiatives we have been promoting to make work and childcare more compatible regardless of gender, including our work style reform initiatives and others that helped increase the ratio of employees taking annual paid leave, as well as promotion of our unique "special childcare leave," which addresses the issue of only a few male employees taking leave.

*1 What is Kurumin?
A certification awarded by the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare to companies that support childcare based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children. It is awarded when certain requirements are fulfilled, such as formulating and reporting an action plan and achieving targets.

*2 What is Platinum Kurumin?
A special certification awarded to Kurumin-certified companies that have implemented initiatives aiming for a higher standard and fulfilled certain conditions, with the designation of outstanding Childcare Support Company.

Aiming to achieve a better work-life balance, where not just women, but also men can take an active part in childcare, we are working to promote activities to increase awareness of our in-house programs and have them take root in the workplace.

Our company will continue to promote diversity so that we can create an organization where all employees can fulfill their maximum potential and work with enthusiasm.

From 2019 onward, we will further instill a diversity-promoting mindset while fostering understanding on what is necessary for creating a workplace where personnel with a variety of attributes, not just gender, can take an active role with an aim to promote communication based on the diversity.

Usage of Main Work-life Balance Support Systems

By informing employees about the work-life balance support systems and sharing the feedback of those who have used the systems, we will gradually increase the number of employees who make use of those programs. We plan to continue spreading awareness and promoting usage of other systems that have only a few users as well.

Support for Male Participation in Childcare

A poster image of Take a special vacation if your child is born!

To encourage men to participate in childcare, the special leave program enables employees with children under three years old to take five days for childcare leave. We have implemented an initiative to increase the rate of childcare leave taken by male employees with children under one year old to 80% or more by the end of 2018.

As a result, for both fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018, we achieved our target of 80% or more for two consecutive years.

We informed eligible employees of this system through e-mails and letters, and we also hung posters and such in workplaces and company housing to encourage people to take leave. Through our internal diversity homepage, we provide information on how to apply for childcare leave and introduce testimonials from male employees who have taken childcare leave.

Usage Rate of Special Childcare Leave (Male Employees with Children under One Year Old)

Usage Ratio for Special Childcare Leave (Male Employees with Children Less Than One Year Old)
(Kobe Steel)

Training for the purpose of Supporting for Work-life Balance

Training for Employees Returning from Childcare Leave and their Managers

Training for Employees Returning from Childcare Leave and their Managers

Kobe Steel has been experiencing an increase in the number of employees who take childcare leave, regardless of gender, due to the rise in households where both parents work, among other factors. The training began in fiscal 2018 with an aim to provide guidelines to returning employees from childcare leave and their managers so that they can have a deeper understanding on the work styles of returning employees and due consideration to be given by their managers in conducting their daily work and management. Lecturers are invited from outside the company to speak to returnees and managers on such topics as individual career development and management of their subordinates’ growth respectively. Returnees and managers also had joint group work and role model round-table discussions. We plan to continue this initiative in the future.

Other Support for Work-life Balance

System Supporting Early Return from Childcare Leave

This system allows employees who have returned to work after childcare leave with a child under one year old to receive a subsidy equal to the difference between the licensed and unlicensed nursery usage fees (a maximum of 50,000 yen for up to a year) when their child has to be placed in an unlicensed nursery in spite of the attempt to enter a licensed nursey.
Background / Purpose:
One major issue when it comes to returning to work from childcare leave is finding a nursery to take care of one's child. Nurseries are roughly divided into licensed nurseries, which have received certification from the country, and unlicensed nurseries. In many cases, employees wish to leave their children at licensed nurseries, which are less expensive, but it may not be easy to have their children taken care of for the desired period at licensed nurseries as many of them have no vacancies. In this situation, they can have an option of leaving their child at an unlicensed nursery, but the reality is that many choose to extend their leave from the workplace due to the higher childcare fee of unlicensed nurseries.

This system aims to reduce these barriers to returning from childcare leave early by providing subsidies.

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