Promotion of Work-life Balance
In accordance with our basic policy on D&I, we promote work-life balance, aiming to create an environment where all employees can work according to their individual circumstances while maximizing their abilities in a way that befits their lifestyles.
To support this objective, in April 2019, we established a Group-wide flextime work policy, which had previously been limited to employees with childcare and nursing-care responsibilities. We also introduced work-from-home arrangements for office-based employees in April 2020. In April 2021, core time was eliminated from the flextime work policy, and the policy was extended to include employees at all Japan-based operational sites. In addition to allowing paid leave in half-day units, we continue to encourage employees to take consecutive days off during summer and set recommended dates for taking paid leave. These measures aim to give employees time for physical and mental refreshment. To reduce overtime work, Wednesday is designated as a work-life balance day in Japan, where employees are encouraged to go home early. If an employee’s overtime continuously exceeds a certain threshold, the employee’s supervisor and the HR department will communicate with the employee to understand the situation, jointly identify problems, and figure out ways to address them.
As a further measure to promote diversity and individuality, we introduced a year-round casual business dress code to make the work environment even more motivating for employees.
Support for Childcare and Nursing Care
We support work-life balance for employees who are either parenting or providing care to family members, and have created a comprehensive support framework. Examples include: in Japan, payment of full salary for the first five days of childcare leave; payment of 20% of salary during childcare or nursing-care leave, which is above the legal requirement in Japan1; and payment of salary during sick/injured childcare leave or nursing-care leave for up to five days per eligible child2, which is also above the legal requirement. Moreover, employees may take leave during working hours regardless of the reason.
This includes flextime without core time, as well as work-from-home arrangements, which have now become well established. The scheme offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing employees with childcare or nursing-care responsibilities to work at different times of the day and for shorter periods by combining the shortened work hours program with flextime
On top of these system-related initiatives, effort has also focused on shaping positive attitudes through an ongoing training program for supervisors with staff who are raising children, to ensure proper follow-up care by supervisors. We also encourage male employees to participate in parenting and post information on our intranet that explains the benefits of childcare leave for male employees and how the system works. As a result of these efforts, the percentage of males taking childcare leave is on an increasing trend. We seek to establish an environment that supports childcare leave and promote its understanding by measures such as holding in-house briefings in accordance with the revision of the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law as well as extending the eligibility of special leave for spouse’s childbirth (three days of paid leave) to cover the period before and after the expected due date and not just after childbirth.
Schemes to remotivate employees returning to work from childcare leave include discussion meetings prior to resuming work to help alleviate anxiety being faced by returning employees, and allowing employees interested in improving their skills while on leave to use the personal development program. Those who return to work prior to their child’s first birthday may take two 30-minute nursing breaks per day, with pay, up to the day before the child turns one year old.
To assist employees raising children, there are childcare support arrangements for children up to the age of three. In addition, we have an agreement with a company-led nursery school to give enrollment priority to the children of company employees, and we have also signed up with a childcare service provider.
In recognition of these initiatives, the Tokyo Labor Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare rated INPEX highly over the FY2018–2020 period as a company that supports its employees to balance work with child-rearing, awarding us the next-generation certification known as Kurumin for a fourth time.
We also support a balance of work and nursing-care responsibilities by flexibly applying rules relating to nursing-care leave for those with elderly parents, even if they are not officially certified care recipients.
1 In Japan, the law allows employees—who may or may not be a child’s main caregiver—to take childcare leave up to the day before a child’s first birthday (and up to the child’s second birthday if childcare facilities cannot be used and the company agrees). Furthermore, childcare leave may be taken for a child less than one year and two months of age if a person who is not a child’s main caregiver takes leave at the same time as the main caregiver. During childcare leave, the public employment security office pays 67% or 50% of regular monthly salary as childcare allowance. Separate from this childcare allowance, we go beyond the legal requirement and pay 20% of an employee’s salary during childcare leave. In October 2022, measures were introduced in Japan to encourage male employees to participate in parenting, such as parental leave (up to four weeks within the first eight weeks after childbirth, which can be taken in up to two installments) and allowing childcare leave to be taken in up to two installments.
2 A maximum of 10 days if there are two or more eligible children