Work Style Reforms

Management Approach

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has advanced work style reforms under a three-year plan following the establishment of 2018 as its inaugural year of promoting work style reforms. After first putting in place a “Statement of Work Style Reforms,” the Group initiated three reform activities. We have realized various reforms, including reducing manhours through investments as well as enabling remote work and other flexible work styles.

With consideration for the future in which the COVID-19 pandemic has died down, we aim to create workplaces that balance making it easy to work with motivating employees.

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group Statement of Work Style Reforms

We determine work methods that promote growth over time to enable each and every individual employee to manifest their personal “characteristics,” and pursue highly productive work methods that maximize success. In order to improve productivity, the Company actively invests in management resources, and unifies managers and workers to coalesce their wisdom Companywide. We nurture work worth doing by improving the quality of the job, and promote workers’ diverse activities by returning the success of reforms to them.

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Three Reforms

Improving productivity is essential to maximizing results in a limited time. With this in mind, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group will push forward three reforms, specifically relating to “Business,” “HR system,” and the “Work environment.” Both management and employees will take up the challenge of promoting reform in line with the specific issues of each business.

<Three Reforms>

  • Business reforms:
    Identify the environment to be changed regardless of existing customs, and reform the work structure
  • HR system reforms:
    Reform the HR system to improve the growth and performance of each and every employee, and expand employment support
  • Work environment reforms:
    Reform the work environment by investing so that diverse employees can work in the optimal environment

Work Style Reforms Achievement Targets

With endeavors to achieve work style reforms, we set targets through to fiscal 2020.

Throughout SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group, we are taking up the challenge of building an organizational culture that (1) realizes total hours worked per year to be less than 2,000 hours; (2) allows employees to take at least 120 days off; and (3) maintains a paid leave take-up rate of at least 50%.

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  • Over 2,000 Total Working Hours

  • Number ofa Companies with Less than 120 Yearly Days Off

  • Number of Companies with Paid Leave Takea-up Rates Under 50% (for General Employees)

Investment in Work Style Reforms

Substantial capital investment and the introduction of systems are essential to continuously realizing the effects of business and work environment reforms. With this in mind, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group decided to invest 10 billion yen over the three years from 2018 to 2020 in an effort to reduce working hours Group-wide.

Over this three-year period, we invested a total of approximately 7 billion yen in a wide range of areas, including automation and labor savings for production lines, sales innovation through the Sekisui Heim Museum, and the introduction of production management, remote work, and other systems. As a result of these investments, manhours for the Group as a whole were reduced by approximately 170,000.

Regulation of Long Working HoursWork Hour Shortening Committee

In order to promote the realization of flexible work styles and reductions in manhours, we held multiple discussions between labor and management. Through the Work Hour Shortening Committee, we determined to expand options for working remotely from the home and flexible working arrangements in fiscal 2020 (abolished restrictions on reasons for use, abolished core time, etc.).

Numerous employees used this system due to the movement restrictions imposed for preventing the spread of COVID-19, and we were able to continue business operations without any major obstacles during the declaration of a state of emergency. In addition, in order to handle the coexistence of remote work and commuting, we held immediate discussions to consider providing an allowance for actual commuting expenses and an allowance for working from the home. Through these discussion, we decided to adopt this system starting in October 2020.

We will continue to hold repeated, constructive discussions between labor and management with regard to promoting the creation of work sites that balance making it easy to work with motivating employees in a way that addresses the new normal.

Establishing Remote Work

In order to realize flexible work styles that are independent of the workplace, since fiscal 2018 we have endeavored to establish a workplace environment where there is little or no distinction between work and communication undertaken within or outside the Company. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we rapidly expanded use of the remote work and web conferencing systems that had already been partially deployed. These work styles have spread broadly throughout the Group companies.

Moreover, paperless operations have also advanced to a significant degree. Almost all Board of Directors and other major meetings, as well as new employee and other types of training, have successfully gone paperless. In addition to enabling remote meetings, we have also significantly reduced the burden on attendees for travel and preparation steps.

As a result of putting this infrastructure into place and of the employees of each workplace exercising their wisdom to review how standard business operations are performed, we were able to continue operations without significant impact under the various restrictions of the State of Emergency.

Reference: Tokyo Headquarters’ attendance rate during January 2021: Approx. 15%

Consolidation of Labor ConditionsMeasures to Improve Compensation and Labor Conditions

With the aim of securing and developing personnel throughout SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group that goes beyond company and individual Group company frameworks, we will continually work to upgrade various systems and improve labor conditions based on the results of our analysis of labor conditions at domestic Group companies. We also conduct investigations of not only compensation levels but also the working hours, use of paid leave, and flexible work styles aspects that are linked to reform of the very way we work - with the intent of optimizing conditions across the entire Group.

Labor-management Cooperation and Communication

SEKISUI CHEMICAL (non-consolidated) strives to understand and respects the positions of labor unions. We believe that through close communications between labor and management we can resolve our common problems based on a shared objective of advancing the Company.

Among SEKISUI CHEMICAL subsidiary companies in Japan, there were 15 independent labor unions with 5,407 employees in the All-SEKISUI CHEMICAL Labor Union Federation, while SEKISUI CHEMICAL Labor Union, which is the core organization in the Federation, had 2,438 members (as the Group employs a union shop system, the membership rate of employees eligible to become union members is 100%) in fiscal 2020.

Notifications of Major HR-related Changes

Based on the proposals submitted to the labor union and feedback received from each of the union branches, Sekisui Chemical has decided to move forward with HR system revisions and large-scale organizational reforms which will entail major changes and have significant effects on employees.

The labor agreement specifies that when employees belonging to the labor union are to be seconded or transferred, the labor union is to be notified at least one month prior to the change and the applicable employee’s willingness to accept their new position is confirmed prior to assignment.

Performance Data

Amount of Overtime Work* (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Monthly average per employee (hours) 19.2 19.9 19.9 19.1 16.8
  • Calculated on the basis of a prescribed number of working hours of 7.5 hours.

Paid Vacation Day Utilization Rate (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Average per employee (%)
(Excluding managers)
45.9 51.1 64.0 71.4 58.2

Average Number of Paid Vacation Days Taken (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Average per employee (days)
(Excluding managers)
8.7 9.6 12.1 13.6 11.2