Work-Life Balance

Basic Approach

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.

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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 FY2022, we set the minimum number of paid leave days to be taken by all employees at 10. We then 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 FY2022, the average number of days used was 15.1, bringing the utilization rate to 83.3%.

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.

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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 long-term 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 long-term childcare leave (until the day on which their child reaches 11 months old) after taking maternity 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 introduced postpartum support leave for male employees. We have made it possible for employees to use accumulated leave (expired annual paid leave from the past fiscal year) to take from one day off. Employees can also use it to take non-consecutive days off. The number of male employees taking childcare leave has increased compared to before the introduction of this system. In FY2022, we worked to establish a workplace environment where our employees can take childcare leave even more flexibly.
We have enhanced special paid leave for when a spouse gives birth from two days to five days. We give an explanation of the system for both those who will give birth and those who have a spouse who is scheduled to give birth in the “Handbook to Support the Balance of Work and Childcare” and on our internal portal site. We have also established a point of contact for consultations relating to work-life balance to reduce anxieties among employees. We held a talk on the theme of “Promoting the Take-up of Childcare Leave by Male Employees in NGK” for managers (FY2021). We shared the key points on the revisions to the Child Care and Family Care Leave Act and the changes to the operation of the system to all employees. We have made it obligatory to hold an interview using the “Request Sheet for Scheduled Childcare Leave” with employees who are pregnant and employees who have stated their spouse is pregnant or has given birth.
In FY2022, about 90% of male employees* took childcare leave through these initiatives.

Total percentage of male workers whose spouses gave birth in the fiscal year preceding disclosure, who took long-term childcare leave or used leave for childcare purposes that year. (fiscal year: April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023)

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 beyond Legal Requirements

System Name Details of the System Category FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Childcare leave Until the day on which the employee’s child reaches 1 year old in principle. When there are certain circumstances, such as not being able to get into a daycare center, leave is available until the child turns 2 years old.

It is possible to use accumulated leave (expired paid leave from the previous fiscal year).

Number of childcare leave takers Total 48 40 64 79 157
Male 23 19 35 56 127
Female 25 21 29 23 30
Return to work rate (%) Total 100 100 100 99 100
Shortened working hours 6 or 7 hours per day for employees until the fiscal year when their children start 4th grade in elementary school. Number of employees taking shortened working hours Number of leave takers 63 64 62 79 69
Item Details Category FY2022
Rate of employees taking child care leave
Fiscal year preceding disclosure
(April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2023)
Total percentage of male workers whose spouses gave birth in the fiscal year preceding disclosure, who took long-term childcare leave or used leave for childcare purposes that year. Male 91%
Percentage of female workers who gave birth in the fiscal year preceding disclosure, who took childcare leave that year. Female 103%

Systems Unique to NGKRecord of the number of people using these systems

System Name Details of the System FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Return to work after childbirth lump-sum payment Lump-sum payment is paid 6 months upon returning to work after taking maternity leave and childcare leave 27 25 26 38 19
Annual paid leave in hourly increments (for employees working shortened hours) Paid leave (five days a year) can be taken in hourly increments by employees working shortened hours 42 62 58 73 68
Postpartum support leave It is possible to use accumulated leave (expired paid leave from the previous fiscal year) for leave for childcare purposes - 15 16 15 34
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 childcare leave and ensures both sides have proper understanding of procedures related to systems supporting childcare and work (it is also possible for the spouse to attend in the case of marriage between employees in the company) 28 24 20 31 29
Interview before returning to work Supports smooth transition back to work through consultation on work details and work style 32 25 25 32 27
Leave 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 2 2 0 1 4
Maternity gift 50,000 yen gift when a child is born 241 218 260 223 224
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 8 11 31 28 43
Childcare Concierge (available to those who live in the Tokyo metropolitan area) Support to facilitate the process of putting a child in daycare and returning to work 1 1 0 0 0
Priority parking spaces to support childcare Priority parking spaces available at a commuter parking lot 32 40 40 41 37
Lump-sum payment for early return We pay 100,000 yen as a lump-sum payment when an employee returns to work by the day on which their child reaches 11 months old after maternity and childcare leave 7 5 3 4 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)

Social Data Collection

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