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Work-Life Balance

Basic Approach

As structural changes in society result from the declining birth rate and the aging of the population, as well as the increasingly diverse nature of people's lifestyles, Hitachi High-Tech is reforming ways of working, including the prevention of excessively long work hours, and putting in place various leave systems. Thus, we ensure that each and every employee feels motivated and finds satisfaction in their work, as well as enabling them to combine work with child-rearing or caring for sick/elderly relatives.


We placed the Diversity Promotion Committee, with members selected from each business and region, led by the top management and have been establishing measures for the whole company. We share information from the committee, and are encouraging voluntary activities suited to each workplace, in addition to measures for the whole company. The initiatives are being taken with the Diversity Promotion Group at the core.


Working Style Reform Initiatives

Our Group is engaging in diversity management, which makes advantageous use of the capabilities belonging to people of varying backgrounds and values as a wellspring of competitive advantage.
Specifically, since 2015 we have been implementing activities to realize more productive working styles and heightened productivity. For these activities, each workplace is devising creative means to use working hours more effectively and to develop well-modulated working styles. The aim is to increase our organizational strength. In September 2016, our top management issued the announcement of this Group's Working Style Reform Declaration inside and outside the company. We are committed to strengthening the driving force for these activities and acting to both accelerate and deepen working style reform for our Group as a whole.

Hitachi High-Tech Group's Working Style Reform Declaration

  1. Top management will take the lead in working style reform.
  2. Managers will implement thoroughgoing time management and carry out transformation of our awareness of these matters.
  3. Specifically, we will engage in the following three areas:
    1. Promote greater efficiency by reviewing business processes, thoroughgoingly implementing no-overtime days, and curbing in-house email at night and on holidays.
    2. Promote active use of the flextime system, working at home, and so on, increasing flexibility of work hours and locations.
    3. Promote the systematic use of annual paid leave, and increase opportunities for broadening perspectives and experience.

In addition, we joined the Ikuboss Alliance* in October 2016. In joining, we made the following declaration: "(omitted) we declare that we will promote the development of "Ikuboss" supervisors who will carry out working style reform and support the active participation of a diversity of human resources. By means of these initiatives, we aim to "realize employees' work-life balance" and to "create new values from ideas that overturn previous conventional thinking, achieve further growth together with our customers, and contribute to the development of society."

* Ikuboss Alliance:
"Ikuboss" refers to supervisors (management executives and management-level personnel) who are able to maintain outstanding business performance and contribute to the company while enjoying both their work and private lives and also providing support to team members' work-life balance and their careers and lives. The Ikuboss Alliance is a network of companies that recognize the need for "Ikuboss" managers in their organizations and are committed to developing ideal "Ikuboss" supervisors for a new era by proactively transforming the mindset of their management-level personnel.

Reform Working Style “Active 20-20”

We began the “Challenge 20-20”*1 in FY2015 to make our working lifestyles highly productive. This project aims to display the abilities of each individual and improve organizational strength by effectively utilizing regular work hours and thinking creatively within each division to come up with well-modulated working styles. The specific goal is to limit average monthly overtime to no more than 20 hours per month and increase annual leave taken to 20 days. We took measures to make overtime work hours including those of managers visible and conducted training to enhance the management skills of managers. We also set days for employees to leave work promptly at the end of the day and conduct in-house broadcasts, and the labor union conducts patrols. We hold lectures and conduct e-learning to create opportunities to think about work styles, and we will continue measures to change the awareness and behavior of all employees.

In addition to these measures, starting in FY2019, we focused on the happiness of each employee and launched Active 20-20*2 with the aim of creating a company where employees can work with vitality and enthusiasm. In the first year of the program, we conducted worksite workshops throughout the company to provide opportunities for employees to think about their own happiness and ideal workplaces, and approximately 70% of the teams (workplaces) conducted workshops. Through these workshops, employees gained an understanding of the happiness of team members and determined what an ideal workplace would be and measures for achieving such a workplace. The five items indicated below were set as priority issues under Active 20-20, and we are pursuing the happiness of employees in both their work and private lives through efforts by individual employees and teams (workplaces) to achieve the ideal.

  • Diverse work styles: Promote the spread of diverse work styles and enhance the work-life balance
  • Work challenges: Improve productivity and take on the challenges of new jobs
  • Growth opportunities: Think about one’s own career and take measures to enhance market value
  • Communication: Accept diversity and strengthen teamwork
  • Physical and mental health: Prepare the mind and body to demonstrate maximum performance and play an active role

When implementing these activities, the Companywide Diversity Promotion Working Group proposes measures, and district committees and work style reform leaders have been established in each department to make efforts based on the circumstances of each workplace, such as improving business processes including reviewing work allocation. As a result of five years of efforts, overtime work in FY2021 was 26.5 hours/person-month compared to 30.5 hours/person-month in FY2014, and similarly, paid leave taken increased from 14.6days/person-year to 17.2days/person-year.

*1 Challenge 20-20: Activities that aim to maximize potential of individuals and organizational strength by designing effective utilization of regular work hours and working styles. The project targets are average overtime work of 20 hours or less per person per month, and paid leave taken of 20 days or more per person per year

*2 Active 20-20: Initiatives that aim to realize the Company growth by leveraging the diversity of individuals to allow each person to demonstrate his or her talents and actively participate

Main Initiatives from FY2019 Forward

  • Workplace workshops (for considering one’s own happiness and the ideal workplace) held companywide
  • Implementation of e-learning, appointment of work style reform leaders, and briefings for leaders held (spreading the ideas of Active 20-20)
  • “Active Month” held to promote telework, diverse work styles encouraged (use of various programs encouraged)
  • Lectures and seminars held on employee happiness, the work-life balance, Ikuboss style management, maintaining balance between work and caregiving, childcare leave by male employees, diverse human resources, self-branding, mindfulness, sleep, and other topics
  • Information sharing via company newsletters, in-house intranet, and email magazines (active communications)
  • For the physical and psychological health of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of on-line health events, stress management lectures, and mindfulness app experience events

Enhancing Work-Life Balance Support Programs

To support our employees in achieving a better work-life balance, we are striving to develop and disseminate programs for employees who need to care for children or sick relatives, taking into account legal reforms as we do so. With regard to telework, we have made a significant push to encourage use of the programs by expanding the scope of the home telework, satellite office, and location-independent work program to all employees and posting experiences of users in internal reports and the intranet. In addition, we launched the Childcare Full Support Project in the second half of FY2020 to achieve 100% rate of taking childcare leave by male employees with the objectives of promoting empowerment of female employees by eliminating existing notions regarding the division of labor between the sexes, enhancing engagement by maintaining a good work-life balance, and preparing for the risk of separation due to the need to provide family care.

Major Work-Life Balance Support Programs
Category Program Name Outline
Working Hours Flextime No core time.
Diversification of paid leave system Paid leave can be taken in one-day units, half-day units, and hourly units.
Short working hours Employees can choose to work shorter hours until their child graduates from elementary school, or while providing care for a family member (including care equivalent to nursing care), or for the purpose of career development. The options are as follows:
7 hours, 6.5 hours, 6 hours, 5 hours, 4 hours (Actual daily working hours for full-time staff: 7 hours 45 minutes)
Note: "5 hours" and "4 hours" are in cases of special circumstances recognized by the company.
Restriction of / Exemption from overtime work and late-night work Upon application by an employee bringing up a child who is not yet attending elementary school (under special circumstances, employees whose children have not yet graduated from elementary school are also eligible) or an employee providing nursing care for a family member (including care equivalent to nursing care), we implement the following arrangements (length of time required between not less than one month and no more than one year, with no limit on the number of applications):
  • Limiting overtime work to no more than 24 hours/month, up to a maximum of 150 hours/year
  • Exempting the employee concerned from late-night work
Home telework, satellite office work, location-independent work All employees eligible regardless of childcare or caregiving
Short work week Employees who have a family member requiring constant caregiving and employees requiring ongoing medical treatment may be able to work four days or three days per week if certain conditions are met.
Note: A three-day week is in cases of special circumstances recognized by the company.
Work-interval Provision of 10-hour intervals between work periods from the perspective of health maintenance.
Initiative to resolve issue of assignment to distant location unaccompanied by family Permission to work from home or other such remote location granted only in cases where doing so will satisfy operational requirements as well as expense requirements and where the employee wishes it.
Leave of Absence for Family Support Maternity leave Period of 8 weeks (14 weeks for a multiple pregnancy) prior to the expected birth date to 8 weeks after giving birth
Leave of absence for childcare purposes Length of time required, up to a maximum of three years in total until the child finishes his or her first year of elementary school
It can be taken in segments.
Paid leave for childcare purposes Five days per child until the child turns one-year old. Can be combined with conventional childcare leave and applied to the first five days.
Spousal childbirth leave For employees who have a spouse or same-sex partner due to give birth within eight weeks, or in the case of multiple pregnancy within 14 weeks, and also employees who have a spouse or same-sex partner who has given birth not more than eight weeks previously, five days of leave per childbirth when requested for the purpose of childbirth by their spouse or same-sex partner.
Fertility treatment leave For employees who have a spouse or same-sex partner and who intend to return to continue their work following leave for fertility treatment, leave for the necessary period of time up to a maximum of one year in total per circumstance.
Leave of absence for nursing care purposes Length of time required, up to a maximum of one year in total per circumstance giving rise to the need for nursing care
It can be taken in segments.
(includes care equivalent to nursing care)
Sick/Injured family care leave Seven days/year
Sick/Injured childcare leave Seven days/year per child not yet attending elementary school
Annual short-term nursing leave Five days/year per person receiving nursing care
Leave for spouse’s transfer In principle, from six months to a maximum of three years, to accompany a spouse transferred within Japan or overseas.
Congratulations/Condolences leave 3 to 7 days, depending on the circumstances
Work-Life Balance Subsidies Subsidies to support work-childcare balance Subsidies for various childcare services until the child finishes the third year of elementary school, available to single-parent employees raising a child and employees when both of the child’s parents are working.
The following amounts are provided per child (per year):
Before entering elementary school: 100,000 yen
During first to third years of elementary school: 50,000 yen
Subsidies to support work-nursing care balance A subsidy of up to 100,000 yen per year for the portion of fees for services covered by the long-term care insurance system to be borne by the patient, nursing care taxi fees, etc., available to employees personally providing nursing care to a family member in Japan (regardless of whether living together or not).

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