Human resources | Society | Sustainability | Asahi Kasei

Human Resources

Policy

The Asahi Kasei Group believes that all of the human resources working at the Group are the source of new value creation based on their diversity and capability to change.

The Asahi Kasei Group endorses international frameworks related to labor such as the principles of the UN Global Compact, which the Group has signed. In the Asahi Kasei Group Code of Conduct, we stipulate that we do not tolerate inhumane practices such as child labor and compulsory labor, we prohibit discrimination for any reason, including employment status, and we practice business honestly and with a sense of responsibility. We not only comply with labor-related laws and regulations in Japan and overseas, including working hours and minimum wages, but also strive to create a working environment in which our employees can reach their full potential and work safely and with peace of mind.

Asahi Kasei Group employee data

(FY)

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Number of Group employees 30,313 32,821 33,720 34,670 39,283*1
Number of new recruits New graduates 353 397 435 514 565*2
Mid-career recruits 61 74 128 232 487*3
  • *1March 2019
  • *2April 2018 (including 138 women)
  • *3April 2018 – March 2019
Fiscal 2018 nonpermanent employees
2,548
Fiscal 2018 resignation of permanent employees
237

Management framework

General Affairs and the Human Resources and Organizational Development Group at Human Resources oversee initiatives related to personnel and labor management and human resource development. Each Group company operates its own personnel system and strives for human resource development. The Group-wide status is confirmed through regular audits to ensure there are no violations of laws and regulations or improprieties.

Initiatives for compliance with labor standards and work style reform

We strive to ensure legal compliance through such means as holding training sessions for general affairs and personnel staff at Group companies to promote their understanding in order to ensure Group-wide legal compliance.
In fiscal 2017, Asahi Kasei Corp. also established an expert committee for the labor union and company to examine work style reform, and measures examined by the committee have been implemented. In fiscal 2019, we introduced a work from home program as an environment that will enable diverse human resources to be actively engaged. Moreover, we have increased the number of annual leave days by one day to reduce working hours. In addition to this, we monitor workplaces that have comparatively long working hours with the aim of preventing excessive working hours at the level of each organization.

Specific work style reform initiatives (adopted in fiscal 2019)

  • Work from home program
  • Availability of paid annual leave in one-hour units
  • Increase in number of annual leave days by one day, etc.

Preventing harassment

The Asahi Kasei Group Code of Conduct clearly stipulates a policy of zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination or harassment. To this end, we explicitly prohibit sexual harassment and other forms of harassment in our employment regulations. We also seek to instill our company policy of zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination or harassment through training on corporate ethics for employees at each level – new hires, and newly appointed assistant managers and managers. In addition, we implement corporate ethics training by business unit and geographical area. During fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, we have been holding seminars through the Asahi Kasei Group focused on the theme of fostering a corporate culture where there is no power harassment.
We have established a central point of contact for consultation about harassment and a compliance hotline (internal reporting system) that ensure anonymity for responding to various inquiries and concerns on related issues in the Asahi Kasei Group.
Training and consultation are also provided for staff from placement agencies and employees of affiliated companies, as part of our Group-wide effort to prevent the occurrence of harassment.

Employee survey

Management and labor work in concert to resolve people-related issues based on mutual understanding and awareness. As part of this, we regularly perform a survey of employees every three years to provide information to line managers that will guide organizational invigoration and management, gauge improvements to previously identified problems and track changes in employee perceptions over time. Survey results are also utilized in the evaluation of initiatives in each department and the consideration of new Group-wide measures.

Communication between management and labor

The Asahi Kasei Group supports employees' freedom of association and right to collective bargaining and strives to maintain a constructive partnership between management and labor.
Discussions on the overall management of the Asahi Kasei Group are held on a regular basis between the management of Asahi Kasei Corp. and the labor union representing some 9,000 members, and separate discussions are periodically held at each business unit and operating site. In addition, regular meetings with the federation of labor unions are held to provide the venue to enhance open communication between management and labor.

Policy

Our human resources policies are focused on the maintenance and reinforcement of a corporate culture emphasizing Asahi Kasei characteristics, the personal growth of each employee, and the creation and expansion of business through superior people and organizations, based on the understanding that the source of our competitive strength is the exceptional power of our people and organizations.
Established in March 2006, the Human Resources Principles of the Asahi Kasei Group are a distillation of the values and beliefs that are held in common by all employees, which is a key aspect of a corporate culture where personal growth and corporate development are mutually reinforcing.

Human Resources Principles

  • [Corporate Commitment] The basic commitment to human resources is to provide the venue for a dynamic and fulfilling career as a part of a lively and growing corporate group. [Basic Expectations] Enterprise and growth through challenge and change / Integrity and responsibility in action / Respect for diversity [Expectations of Leaders] Building the team, heightening performance and achievement / Going beyond conventional boundaries, in thought and action / Contributing to mutual development and growth

In accordance with these principles, our human resources development is focused on the mutual growth of individuals and organizations. As part of the medium-term plan beginning in fiscal 2019, efforts for human resources are focused on the growth of management and leaders, growth of professional groups and line managers who manage them, and growth of global personnel.

  • Diagram of human resources development system in fiscal 2018

Human resource development

A wide range of training programs

The human resources development program at the Asahi Kasei Group is structured with enhancing basic skills through OJT and heightening professional skills as a 2-layer foundation, with 3 pillars of cultivating management leaders, heightening specialist skills, and fostering global human resources to support employee skill development and business execution.
In addition, since fiscal 2018 when the number of career-track recruits increased, we have held a career-track recruit conference in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, where our company was founded, as an opportunity for recruits to be aware of our history and culture.

Group Masters

For the Asahi Kasei Group to achieve sustainable growth amid dramatic changes in the business environment, we must seek growth and win in the global market. Human resources hold the key for doing this.
In this situation, Asahi Kasei Corp. employs a "Group Masters" program to broaden the segment of human resources with expertise that holds universal value through the appointment, training, and treatment of human resources expected to be actively involved and participating in creating new business and strengthening existing business as "Group Masters."
Under the program, we have defined five categories of Group Masters. We have clarified the respective roles of each Group Master category and enhanced treatment to create a mechanism that encourages the growth of human resources while securing outstanding external human resources at the same time.
We have also formulated a succession plan for Group Masters in each field, and have linked the succession plan to business reinforcement and human resource development, which will strengthen our competitive edge.

Categories and roles of Group Masters

  • Categories and roles of Group Masters

Target areas

We define fields of technology to be strengthened business-wide as "core technologies" and appoint engineers to lead each core technology field as Group Masters.
As a result of organizing the core technologies, production technologies, know-how, business platforms, diverse market channels and business models, which have been cultivated as the source of the Asahi Kasei Group's competiveness, we defined the 11 fields below as business-wide core technologies. We will also define the fields and occupational categories to be cultivated internally as experts for business-specific fields and key Group-wide functions (core platform fields) and will appoint human resources to lead those areas as Group Masters.

  • Target areas

Development of global human resources

To maintain the global business expansion under our "Cs+ for Tomorrow 2021" medium-term management initiative from the perspective of human resources, we are implementing measures such as overseas internship programs for young personnel, including practical overseas training and short-term overseas study programs, and holding training sessions for personnel at overseas subsidiaries on subjects such as overseas post succession planning, dissemination of corporate philosophy, intercultural communication, and management skills.

Supporting independent study

In October 2003, the Asahi Kasei Group instituted a program to support independent study by employees. To encourage employees to acquire higher level specialized or technological ability, the company will pay part of the cost of attending courses or lectures. In fiscal 2018, a total of 771 employees utilized the program.

Policy

The Asahi Kasei Group Code of Conduct clearly stipulates that "we must respect individuals' basic human rights and diversity, not discriminate on the basis of nationality, ancestry, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ideology, age, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, employment status, form of contract, etc., nor condone such discrimination" as company policy. We promote the establishment of a lively workplace which ensures equal opportunity and enables all employees to perform at their best without suffering discrimination. We seek to instill our company policy to prevent any discrimination or harassment through training on corporate ethics for employees at each level – new hires, and newly appointed assistant managers and managers. In addition, we implement corporate ethics training by business unit and geographical area.

Management framework

The Asahi Kasei Group believe that developing into a people-oriented organization in which human resources with diverse values are actively engaged is essential for sustainable business growth. To promote diversity including the engagement of various employees, we have a Diversity Promotion Group which advances diversity management throughout the Asahi Kasei Group.

Expansion of opportunities for women

In 1993, we established a dedicated corporate organ (now Diversity Promotion Group) to promote equal opportunity, and have proactively increased the proportion of women hired and expanded the distribution of job assignments for women. While only five employees at the rank of manager or above were women in 1993, this has risen to 622 in June 2019. To support female personnel through life events such as childbirth and parenting, we hold seminars on returning to work after maternity leave, and provide a mentoring program that encourages female managers to further develop their careers.
In fiscal 2016, we also formulated an action plan and targets below in accordance with the Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace.

  • *Results as of June 30 each year for personnel employed by Asahi Kasei Corp., Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corp., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp., and Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., Asahi Kasei Homes Corp., Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp. (Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp., Asahi Kasei Fibers Corp., Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp. are included up to June 30, 2015).

Number of women as managersNumber of women as managers*

Asahi Kasei Group Action Plan* We will nurture employees and provide an employment environment to enable women to perform in managerial positions equivalently to men in accordance with the following Action Plan.
Term April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2021
Content
Objective 1
Aim to have women performing in managerial positions equivalently to men; double the number of women in managerial positions from March 31, 2015, to March 31, 2021
Objective 2
Provide a workplace environment that enables both men and women to maintain their careers while raising children
  • *Action Plan for Asahi Kasei Corp., Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corp., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp., Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., Asahi Kasei Homes Corp., and Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp.

Employment of persons with disabilities

Asahi Kasei Ability Corp. was established in 1985 as a special subsidiary for the employment of persons with disabilities, performing a wide range of services for the Asahi Kasei Group, including office automation services such as data entry, digitizing documents (conversion to PDF files), website design, printing of business cards, document printing and binding, dispatch of sample products, cleaning, copying, and planter box gardening.
On April 1, 2018, the legal minimum proportion for employment of persons with disabilities was revised upward from 2.0% to 2.2%. The proportion for applicable companies of the Asahi Kasei Group exceeded 2.2% throughout the year and as of June 1, 2018, stood at 2.25% (595 persons), exceeding the legal requirement.

  • *The rate of employment and the number of persons employed are the average figures for each fiscal year for applicable companies of the Asahi Kasei Group. Calculations are based on total employment of 26,410 persons at the 21 applicable companies as of June 1, 2019. As of June 1, 2019, 404 of the 595 persons with disabilities employed were employees of Asahi Kasei Ability (number of persons calculated in accordance with the Act on Employment Promotion, etc. of Persons with Disabilities).

Rate of employment and number of persons with disabilities employedRate of employment and number of persons with disabilities employed*

Initiatives at Asahi Kasei Ability

Asahi Kasei Ability, which actively employs persons with disabilities, completed its new Mizushima office building in June 2018 and opened the Osaka office in October. Asahi Kasei Ability is expanding the size of its business, including the establishment of the Agriculture Promotion Group at the Nobeoka office in January 2019 to engage in full-scale agriculture as part of its work design for employees.
In addition, many employees of Asahi Kasei Ability compete in several prefectural Abilympics each year. Employees who win gold medals at the prefectural competitions qualify to compete in the National Abilympics. In fiscal 2018, 11 employees represented several prefectures in the fiscal 2018 National Abilympics held in Okinawa Prefecture and displayed their skills cultivated through daily work and practice. A total of 50 employees have competed in prefectural Abilympics in Miyazaki, Okayama, Osaka, Shizuoka, and Tokyo in fiscal 2019 with the aim of qualifying for the National Abilympics to be held in Aichi Prefecture in November.

  • New Mizushima office building completed in June 2018

  • Work in the Agriculture Promotion Group, Nobeoka office

Balancing work and family life

In order to improve the balance of work and family life, the Asahi Kasei Group complies with laws and regulations aimed at eliminating and reducing long working hours and provides various forms of support for personnel to work with security and vitality in accordance with their individual circumstances and values from the perspective of balancing work and family life. At the same time, we also foster a workplace environment that facilitates utilization of the provisions by raising awareness of them through our corporate intranet and offering management support for superiors. Many of the provisions we offer are also available to non-regular employees with some changes to the details, and are actually utilized by them.

Parental leave

Our parental leave is available through the fiscal year in which the child turns 3 years old.
In fiscal 2018, parental leave was utilized by 631 personnel. This is included 392 men, with the rate of those who were qualified and actually utilized the leave exceeding 40% for the past four years in a row, and 239 women. Among the employees on parental leave scheduled to return to work in fiscal 2018, 100% of men and 98% of women returned to work on schedule.

Employees using parental leaveEmployees using parental leave

Shortened working hours for child care

Personnel are able to utilize shortened working hours to care for preschoolers, with the working day shortened by up to 2 hours until the child enters elementary school. In September 2007, a provision called "Kids Support" was added to enable personnel with children in the first and second grades to work shortened hours as well. These provisions may be used concurrently with a "flex-time" system for flexible working hours.
In fiscal 2018, 20 non-regular employees utilized these provisions.

Utilization of shortened working hours and Kids Support for child careUtilization of shortened working hours and Kids Support for child care

Platinum Kurumin certification mark

In 2016, Asahi Kasei Corp., Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corp., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp., Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., and Asahi Kasei Ability Corp. received the Platinum Kurumin certification mark from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Platinum Kurumin certification is awarded in recognition of proactive support for the development of the next generation which is particularly outstanding.
Asahi Kasei Ability Corp. is the first company in Miyazaki prefecture to receive Platinum Kurumin certification.

Kurumin certification mark

Support for family care

The Asahi Kasei Group has established systems to support caring for family members* that go beyond legal stipulations to provide support for balancing work with care for family members.

  • *Leave of absence for family carea leave of absence of one year in total is available for each disease of each family member who requires care.
  • Shortened working hours for family careavailable twice in three years for each family member who requires care, also available for second and subsequent diseases.
  • Flexible working hours for family care"flex-time" system for working with short core times, etc.

At the same time, in order to create an environment that facilitates utilization of these provisions, we disseminate information on balancing work and family care and information about these provisions through our corporate intranet. Other efforts include the distribution of a booklet on balancing work with care for family members since January 2013 and the holding of a seminar for superiors with subordinates who are balancing work with family care in February 2019.
In addition, in April 2019, we launched a free-of-charge telephone consultation service that is available 24-hours a day every day of the year for Asahi Kasei Group employees and their family members. This service supports balancing work with care for family members by providing the opportunity to consult with family care experts.

Booklet on balancing work with care for family members

  • Main provisions to support balance in work and family life

    Main provisions to support balance in work and family life

Leave of absence to accompany spouse on overseas assignment

As globalization continues to advance, an increasing number of personnel have a spouse who is transferred to an overseas assignment. In fiscal 2013 we adopted a provision for such personnel to take a leave of absence to accompany their spouses living overseas. In fiscal 2018, this provision was utilized by 18 personnel.

Re-employment of employees at mandatory retirement age

In fiscal 2001, we introduced a voluntary re-employment program for all employees who have reached the retirement age of 60 to enable then to continue working and making use of their extensive experience and advanced skills. In fiscal 2013, we conducted a revision to increase the fixed amount of compensation by 1.5 times in order to maintain the same motivation and satisfaction as before retirement. In fiscal 2018, approximately 80% of employees who reached retirement age utilized the program to be actively engaged.