Labor Practices

Basic Approach

The NGK Group strives to create a safe and comfortable workplace environment with respect for employee humanity. We implement a human resource system which enables every employee to perform at their full potential under fair treatment.
In the NGK Group Code of Conduct, our relationship with employees is based on the ideas of “Respect for Human Rights” and “Providing a Safe and Enjoyable Work Environment.” These are defined as follows.

Human Resource System for Group S/M/J Employees

In April 2017, NGK revised its human resource system for Group S/M/J employees to enable all employees, from the young to the experienced, to work with enjoyment and fulfillment. As NGK develops its businesses globally and promotes the creation of new products and businesses, it is essential to motivate young and middle-level employees who will take on future key roles and encourage them to demonstrate their full potential. The revised system aims to create an environment that makes these possible.

Key Points of the Revised System

Qualification Definitions

In order to ensure that educational background and age are not limiting factors for employees’ careers, NGK maintains a merit-based system for job promotion and grade transfer.
Also, because qualification-specific role differences are made clear, employees are aware of what is required for higher level qualifications and can more readily attempt higher level job duties. The aim of this system is to reward the efforts of those with the will and ambition to move to a higher grade, as well as to facilitate each employee’s journey along his or her career path.

NGK Qualification Definitions

Key personnel: Employees in managerial positions
Group S: Key personnel candidates and advanced specialists
Group M: Operational and on-site leaders
Group J: Personnel who seek to actualize, and be utilized to, their full potential

Basic Information Related to Employees

Scope of Application

For reporting in the Social section of this website, scope of application differs on a case-by-case basis and is therefore specified for each article and data report.
However, basic data for employees is shown below.

Number of Employees

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Number of Employees*1 NGK 4,142 4,119 4,224 4,316 4,382
NGK Group 18,783 20,115 20,000 19,695 20,099
Number of employees by gender NGK*2 Total 4,136 4,355 4,529 4,650 4,745
Male 3,621 3,807 3,951 4,046 4,132
Female 515 548 578 604 613
NGK Group Total 19,406 20,578 20,409 20,195 20,656
Male 15,013 16,167 16,010 15,920 16,393
Female 4,393 4,411 4,399 4,275 4,263
Number of employees by employment type NGK Full-time employee 4,136 4,355 4,529 4,650 4,745
Contract employee 398 507 464 287 272
Temporary employee 392 389 395 302 372

1 Includes employees from outside companies who have been temporarily assigned to the NGK Group, but excludes employees from the NGK Group who have been temporarily assigned to outside companies.

2 Excludes employees from NGK Group companies or outside companies who have been temporarily assigned to NGK, but includes employees from NGK who have been temporarily assigned to NGK Group companies or outside companies.

Employee Status

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Average age (year) NGK Total 38.7 38.7 38.8 39.2 40.0
Male 38.7 38.7 38.9 39.3 40.1
Female 38.6 38.4 38.6 38.6 39.6
Average length of service (years) NGK Total 13.7 13.5 13.7 14.3 15.6
Male 13.6 13.4 13.7 14.3 15.6
Female 14.6 14.1 14.1 14.1 15.6
Average salary (yen) NGK 7,852,010 7,888,094 7,770,318 7,635,830 7,696,997

Retention Rate of New Hires After 3 Years

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Retention rate of new hires after 3 years (%) NGK Total 94.6 92.6 93.5 92.8 90.3
Male 94.8 97.6 95.2 92.7 91.0
Female 80.0 83.9 85.1 93.3 87.9

Turnover Rate

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Turnover rate (%)
(Full-time employees only, excluding retiring employees)
NGK Total 0.8 1.4 1.5 1.3 1.3
Male 0.7 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.1
Female 1.9 2.9 2.8 1.7 2.0

Voluntary Resignation Rate

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Voluntary resignation rate (%)
(Full-time employees only, excluding retiring employees)
NGK Total 0.8 1.2 1.5 1.2 1.2
Male 0.6 1.0 1.3 1.1 1.0
Female 1.7 2.5 2.6 1.6 2.0

The figures for voluntary resignation rate are calculated from the number of people resigning due to personal circumstances in one year / total number of employees.

Work-Life Balance

Approach to Work-Life Balance

NGK strives to promote a work-life balance and reduce long working hours.
We keep track of social changes, such as changing attitudes toward work as well as legislative amendments, and strive to respond to these changes flexibly and properly by improving systems and revising operations.

Activities for Promoting Work-Life Balance

Initiatives to Shorten Total Hours Worked

Health Management: Initiatives to Shorten Total Hours Worked

Initiatives to Promote Use of Paid Leave

In FY2021 we set the target number of paid leave days to take at 10, and worked to improve the ratio and number of paid leave days taken. Hereafter, we will continually implement initiatives to promote a good work-life balance.

Paid Leave: Number of Days Used, Utilization Rate (NGK Union members; excluding outside employees temporarily assigned to NGK)

This five-year graph shows the days of paid leave used, and the utilization rate. In FY2021, the average number of days used was 13.8, bringing the utilization rate to 76.5%.

Enhancing Systems for Supporting Work-Life Balance

NGK offers flexible systems to help employees maintain a balance between work and family life. To support childcare and nursing care, we are enhancing financial support by providing a babysitter expense subsidy system, and a lump-sum payment system for nursing care support. And in consideration of the working environment, we offer support via a shortened working hour system. Further, we continue to enhance the soft infrastructure NGK has in place to support these employees. For employees seeking to balance their career with childcare, we offer pre-maternity leave interviews, pre-reinstatement interviews during the childcare leave period, career consultations, and other consultation resources. For employees undertaking nursing care, we offer nursing care-related information sessions and distribute nursing care handbooks, as well as facilitate consultation services which make use of outside specialist organizations.

Enhancement of Work-Life Balance Systems

In 2010, NGK made a major revision to its human resource system, and we have since been continuously enhancing our support measures by identifying employees’ needs.
In FY2017, we established an early reinstatement lump-sum system for employees who return to work early from their childcare leave (within 11 months of the start of their childcare leave). We also established a non-registered daycare subsidy system to help subsidize employees who put their children in non-registered daycares. These systems are part of the initiatives we undertake to support employees’ careers after they have returned to work. Also, in addition to childcare and nursing care, we launched a system for flexible work arrangements to help employees who need to attend to a health condition of their own that requires repeated and ongoing treatment, thereby finding a balance between work and medical care.
In FY2018, we investigated how to improve the efficiency and productivity of workplaces by offering employees greater flexibility in terms of work style and environment, so that they can work to their potential while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, regardless of when or where they work. It was in this context that we considered and expanded our use of telecommuting. Then, in FY2020, we formally introduced a telecommuting system to boost productivity and help address the needs of employees with children or other commitments.
In FY2019, we made it possible for male employees to accumulate more vacation days to be used for post-maternity support. We also made it easier to take childcare leave for shorter periods. This has resulted in a more-than-60% increase in male employees taking childcare leave.
In FY2022, we have established a point of contact for consultations relating to work-life balance, and are working to reduce employee concerns and create a positive workplace environment.

System to Support Employees to Balance Work and Childcare at Each Stage

This table explains our systems to support work-life balance in the context of working and raising children. It lists the kinds of support systems that can be used starting during pregnancy, to after the employee returns from childcare leave.

Systems to Support Early Return from Parental Leave

NGK has systems to encourage and support employees who have taken maternity and childcare leave so that they can return to their careers at an early stage.
These systems are aimed at developing workplaces that support female employees in particular, with the expectation of promoting their active participation.

Overview of Childrearing Support Measures and Users

Systems That Exceed Legal Requirements

Item Details Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Number of childcare leave takers Until the last day of the month when the child turns 1 year old. When there are certain circumstances, such as not being able to find a daycare center, leave is available until the last day of the month in which the child turns 18 months old or the end of March after the child turns one, whichever is longer. (Legal requirement: until the child turns 18 months old) Total 47 48 40 64 79
Male 17 23 19 35 56
Female 30 25 21 29 23
Ratio of employees that return to work after childcare leave Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 99%
Shortened working hours during childrearing 6 or 7 hours per day for employees until the fiscal year when their children start 4th grade in elementary school (Legal requirement: For children under the age of 3) Number of leave takers 51 63 64 62 79

Systems Operated Independently by NGK

Item Details FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Lump-sum payment made 6 months after returning to work Lump-sum payment is paid 6 months after returning to work 19 31 25 26 38
System for taking annual paid leave in hourly increments (for employees working shortened hours) Paid leave (days’ worth) can be taken in hourly increments by employees working shortened hours 36 59 62 58 73
Childcare leave for fathers using accumulated vacation days Unused annual paid holidays can be used for childcare leave 17 19 31 54 53
Pre-maternity leave interview Interview is attended by employee, HR, and supervisor to provide the employee with peace of mind while on maternity leave and ensures both sides have proper understanding of procedures related to systems supporting childcare and work 27 30 26 21 31
Interview before returning to work Supports smooth transition back to work through consultation on work details and work style 30 29 27 27 32
System for accompanying a spouse’s overseas assignment Enables employees to take a leave of up to 2 years and 6 months while accompanying a spouse (including a non-NGK employee) posted overseas for work,
and allows employees to continue their career path, which was difficult to do prior to the establishment of this system
9 10 9 8 1
Maternity gift 50,000 yen gift when a child is born 225 241 218 260 223
Babysitter expense subsidy Provides up to 100,000 yen per year for employees who must pay for a babysitter or daycare due to working hours 9 8 11 31 28
Childcare Concierge Support to facilitate the process of putting a child in daycare and returning to work 1 1 1 0 0
Priority parking spaces to support childcare Priority parking spaces available at a commuter parking lot 29 32 40 40 41
Non-registered daycare subsidy system 1 0 0 0 0
Lump-sum payment for early return 3 7 5 3 4

Enhancement of Nursing Care Support System

In line with revisions made in January 2017 to the Child Care and Family Care Leave Act, we made revisions to our own system, such as enabling employees to divide their one-year nursing care leave into three blocks.
Moreover, in April 2022, we relaxed the requirements for employees with a fixed term employment contract to receive this support, so that even employees with less than a year of continuous service can claim nursing care leave. In this way, we are working to enhance our nursing care support system.

Systems to Support Nursing Care

Working hours Time off Financial support
  • 1. Shortened working hours
  • 2. Working three days a week
  • 3. Flex time system
    (for employees at departments to which the regular flex time system does not apply)
  • 4. Limitation on overtime work
  • 5. Unscheduled work exemption
  • 6. Late-night working hours exemption
  • 7. Caring for a family member using accumulated vacation days
  • 8. Unpaid days off to provide care
  • 10. Care leave benefits
  • 11. Care leave support fund
  • 12. Lump-sum care allowance
Leave of absence
  • 9. Care leave

Nursing Care Leave Usage (NGK)

Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Total 1 1 1 1 1
Men 1 0 1 0 0
Women 0 1 0 1 1

Establishing a Diverse Work-Style Support Website on our Company Intranet

We have a site on diverse work styles on the company intranet to widely announce our measures to support a work-life balance. This site’s user-friendly features include, for example, an online handbook on childcare and nursing care.

Labor-Management Initiatives

Freedom of Association

NGK respects workers’ rights, including the right to collective bargaining, and strives to build healthy labor-management relations. As of March 31, 2022, 3,912 employees belonged to the Labor Union.

Labor Union Membership Rate(%)

FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
94 96 97 98 98

Note: Number of union employees/Number of NGK employees (excluding managers)(Both figures include contract manufacturing employees)

Protecting the Right to Collective Bargaining

NGK and the Labor Union have signed a labor agreement as equal partners. The agreement specifies that both parties shall respect each other’s rights and take responsibility for the exercising of their own rights.
The two sides regularly hold Labor-Management Advisory Board meetings to exchange information and promote mutual understanding. They also maintain healthy labor-management relations by exchanging opinions on issues such as management policies, financial conditions, and activities of the Labor Union.
Collective bargaining sessions are held in an orderly manner, with both parties striving in good faith to resolve issues peacefully and promptly.

Labor-Management Consultations in FY2021

Fair and Equitable Compensation

NGK and the Labor Union have signed an agreement that sets out original in-house minimum wages, which are fixed at a rate above the minimum wages by region and industry stipulated by the Minimum Wage Act. Through this agreement, we strive to improve employees’ working conditions and avoid violation of relevant laws.
We also apply a system that provides the same wages for the same qualifications, irrespective of sex.

Communication Between Labor and Management

NGK makes an effort to build labor-management relations founded on mutual trust through communication with various consultative bodies, such as the Labor-Management Advisory Board, the Worksite Advisory Board, and the Regular Labor-Management Council.
NGK and the Labor Union hold Labor-Management Advisory Board meetings to talk about business conditions and performance, and Worksite Advisory Board meetings to share issues pertaining to manufacturing, work systems, and workplace environments from each worksite. In addition, labor and management also proactively exchange opinions at Regular Labor-Management Council meetings.