Comfortable Working Environment



Basic Policy on Employment and Compensation

Building systems and environments in which diverse human resources can demonstrate their abilities

The foundation for achieving this is laid out in the Basic Policies of the Brother Group Global Charter (Global Charter), which stipulate that "the Brother Group respects diversity and provides a working environment that enables our associates to utilize their talents and abilities to the fullest, and also gives them great opportunity through challenging work assignments and provides them with fair, attractive financial rewards." The Codes of Practice in the Global Charter set forth that "we must always honor individuals and diversity, and act with trust and respect." According to these principles, the Brother Group companies aim to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, belief, gender, educational background, age, disability, or anything else, in hiring, evaluation and promotion and also prohibit child or forced labor. As for employment, the Brother Group guarantees pay higher than local minimum wages. In addition, the group respects employees' rights to form and join, or not join, a union (the rights to organize) as a means to conduct negotiations between labor and management about working conditions and environments, pay levels, and so forth. It also upholds employees' collective bargaining rights and engages in sincere negotiations and dialogues with them. In addition to the signing of labor agreements between labor and management with Brother Industries Labor Union, regular information exchange is also carried out—such as through labor-management gatherings and the Working Environment Improvement Committee—to build good labor-management relations. The management and employees of the Brother Group will make constant concerted efforts to comply with related regulations and rules, respect different cultures and customs, evolve the group's personnel system in line with the Global Charter, and continue to create a better working environment.

Introducing a Target Management System to Provide Fair Evaluation and Compensation

The Brother Group has a system that fairly and impartially evaluates employees based on their motivation, abilities and achievements and reflects the evaluation results to their compensation. BIL, for example, assesses its general employees in a way that highly satisfies them, using a target management system with clear criteria. Each employee receives the results of the evaluation of his/her performance and is subsequently informed of the reasons in a meeting with the supervisor. This approach, which helps employees review their own performance and raise their motivation to advance toward new challenges, has been contributing to talent development. BIL uses the annual salary system for its employees in management positions.

Supporting Work-Life Balance

Enhancing systems and creating an atmosphere that encourages the utilization of them

BIL has established various systems to support the work-life balance of its employees, including flextime, childcare or family-care leave, short-time working, and nursing care leave systems, so that they can continue working vigorously with no anxiety.
Since FY2011, BIL has held seminars to consider how to strike a balance between work and family care in preparation for the arrival of an age with serious family-care problems in the near future. Managers, in particular, are required to participate in these seminars to gain information that helps them prepare for the risks associated with their subordinates' family-care. In FY2015, BIL started adopting telecommuting for employees engaging in childcare or family care, thereby allowing them to more flexibly choose the way they work.
Meanwhile, based on opinions from employees, BIL has been focusing on making those systems much easier to use and creating an atmosphere that promotes the understanding of them within the company.
In FY2016, BIL held a cancer seminar for women in order to help female employees have accurate cancer knowledge and continue to work vigorously for long years, and also launched the "Career Community," composed of theme-based round-table talks by BIL's senior employees. These were held during work hours to allow employees to attend easily.

Cancer seminar for women Cancer seminar for women

Data Regarding Users of Systems for Supporting Work-Life Balance (Brother Industries, Ltd.)*1

FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Childcare leave*2 60 (17) 61 (19) 73 (35) 74 (41) 99 (63)
Family-care leave*2 5 (3) 3 (1) 5 (1) 3 (2) 2 (1)
Short-time working for childcare 153 (5) 166 (6) 177 (9) 176 (7) 184 (10)
Short-time working for family-care 2 (1) 2 (1) 3 (0) 6 (1) 5 (2)
Nursing care leave 31 (8) 31 (9) 33 (7) 28 (7) 13 (3)
Homeworking 41 (8) 57 (6) 78 (7) 1,375 (969) 2,171 (1,805)
  1. The numbers in the parentheses indicate those of male employees
  2. The number of those who started using the system in each fiscal year

Human Resources Department, Brother Industries, Ltd. Syuhei Yajima

Voice of an employee who utilized the childcare leave system:
Understanding and expectations for men to take childcare leave

Human Resources Department, Brother Industries, Ltd.
Syuhei Yajima

When my third child was born, I took three months' childcare leave. Personally, I was a bit uncertain and reticent about utilizing the childcare leave system at the beginning. However, the reaction from my superiors and colleagues was more positive than I expected, and they also actively supported me by adjusting my work schedule while I was away. I am also thankful for the same warm reception I received when I came back to work. During my leave, I was able to spend much more time than normal with my children, which was a really valuable experience for thinking about balancing childcare and work commitments going forward.
Thanks to this experience, I will be able to support other members of my team so that they can have peace of mind if they also take childcare leave in the future.

Reduction of Long Working Hours

Under its policy of reducing long working hours, BIL has put systems in place and promoted operational efficiency.

Revision of systems

Morning-type flextime system

The core time of BIL's flextime system was initially from 10:30 to 15:00. However, in July 2016, it was changed to between 9:30 and 14:00, starting one hour earlier to make the system more morning-type.

Overtime application system

In July 2016, BIL introduced an overtime application system, which requires overtime work after 20:00 to be approved in advance, and basically prohibited overtime work after 22:00. In this way, the company has been striving to reduce long working hours.

Gradual lowering of the upper limit of non-statutory working hours in non-product sections

Based on an agreement with the Brother Industries Labor Union, BIL gradually reduced the non-statutory working hours by FY2020.

FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Monthly target 80 hours 75 hours 70 hours 65 hours
Annual target 550 hours 520 hours 480 hours 450 hours

Operational efficiency

BIL is promoting operational efficiency improvements, such as launching operational efficiency projects in 2018, reviewing its operational processes, and utilizing digital tools.

Review of operational processes and utilization of digital tools

BIL shares concrete measures or departmental efforts taken to resolve challenges in internal meeting management, meeting material preparation, and e-mail correspondence with employees on the intranet. In addition, BIL promotes the automation and efficiency of routine work by means of IT, such as RPA* and artificial intelligence (AI), across the company.
For internal training regarding AI, a newly recruited employee who specialized in AI at graduate school (as of 2018) was selected as the leader. Targeting all employees, curricula was developed in-house according to the needs of different positions—such as newly recruited employees, software developers, and the management—and the leader acts as lecturer and operates the training. As of fiscal 2020, for internal training regarding AI, a total of 285 employees have attended classroom lessons by the lecturer while 4,446 employees have attended online lessons using textbooks. Partly due to the internal promotion of automation and efficiency improvement using IT, every employee has strong desire to learn about AI, and optional lessons always receive more applications than the number of slots available.

  • Abbreviation for robotic process automation, which automates and improves the efficiency of routine work using software robotic technology imbued with AI.

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