The following provisions are outlined in The THK Group Action Charter.
We have created the Work and Family-Life Balance Support Handbook for Guardians and Caregivers to help employees achieve work–life balance by facilitating maternity and paternity leave as well as child and family care leave. Furthermore, we have established a work environment where everyone understands the system and can focus on their work without worry.
As one measure to revolutionize the way we work, we introduced a system in April 2019 that allows employees to use their annual paid vacation by the hour. This is a means to improve work–life balance and increase the annual percent of vacation utilized.
In this system, vacation can be taken in one-hour increments instead of full or half-day units.
As a result, employees can take shorter amounts of time off to balance their personal and professional needs, creating an environment where workload stress can be reduced, and it is easier to take time off by doing so a little at a time. We anticipate this will improve work–life balance and increase the annual percent of vacation utilized.
We offer a caregiver leave system for employees to take up to 93 days off, split among three leaves of absence. Leaves of absence include time off for caregivers and accumulated paid leave.
Options for leaves of absence and shortened work hours include a childcare leave system for those with children up to 2 years old, shortened work hours for those with children in school up to 6th grade, and childcare time for those with children up to 1 year of age. Leaves of absence include time off for sick child care and accumulated paid leave.
Thanks to efforts such as extending the timeframe of its policy that allows shortened working hours for parents to the point when their children enter elementary school, THK RHYTHM was awarded Kurumin Certification by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare for being a company that actively supports child care. THK RHYTHM will continue to be a company that helps its employees find a balance between work and child-rearing.
In order to improve quality, we have implemented a number of classes and practical training programs at numerous production facilities that are targeted at inspectors, with contents based on the mechanical inspection section of Japan’s National Trade Skill Test and Certification system. Employees undergo internal testing after completing this training program, and only those who pass are allowed to perform the inspection process
To support the skill development of production department employees, we fully cover all examination fees for those who pass the machining, mechanical inspection, or heat treating sections of the National Trade Skill Test and Certification Grade 2 and above. In 2018, 32 employees passed.
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|Passed in 2018||Total as of 12/31/2018|
|Metal heat treating||6||0||101||1|
|Electrical discharge machining||1||0||7||0|
|Electric equipment assembling||1||0||7||0|
|Pneumatic equipment assembling||0||0||7||0|
|Hydraulic equipment adjusting||0||0||23||0|
|Metal material testi||0||0||59||0|
Surely this phrase rings a bell: “I would like to pat myself on the back.”
At THK RHYTHM, we heard about Japan’s Labor Standards Act being revised to make it mandatory for employees to take five days of vacation annually, and we decided to make an effort to encourage our employees to take vacations before it becomes mandatory. The name for our policy was chosen from a number of ideas that came up in discussion between labor and management. It expresses our hope that the five days of break will be a fulfilling time and a reward for employees. This policy applies to executives, full-time employees, temporary employees, and part-time employees who begin the period (October) with 10 or more unused days of annual paid vacation. In October 2017, we expanded the program to all of our locations in Japan, after first completing a four-month trial beginning in May 2017.
A year after we began this policy, the rate of employees taking vacations increased compared to the same timeframe in 2016. There were varying reactions; while some have remarked that it has become easier to take time off, others say they are too busy to take advantage of it. This change is intended to improve the work-life balance and morale of our employees.
Since joining the company in 2000, I have been in charge of calibrating and repairing all measuring instruments used at our factory. Calibrating involves testing these instruments by operating them in the correct way, confirming they display an accurate measurement, and repairing or outsourcing repairs as needed. Gauges can malfunction for a number of reasons, including water or oil penetration or being dropped. It is easier to ask a vendor to repair them, but I factor in the cost and time and fix them myself whenever possible. Repair work suits me, and I cannot describe the satisfaction I feel when I am able to fix something. In September 2018, I received an award from the chairman of the Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly, Persons with Disabilities and Job Seekers in recognition of my efforts in the workplace.
If I recall, I learned about THK during a plant tour when I was a student at a school for the deaf. The polite reception I received from the employees assured me that it was a good company, and I decided to join. As I have worked here, I have felt the kindness emanating from everyone at the Yamaguchi plant as they come to greet me. The award I received was the result of the cooperation of the people around me, and I am grateful. I will work toward receiving awards from the prefectural governor and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Shunsuke Yoshinaga, deputy manager of the General Affairs Section at the Yamaguchi plant, was one of three individuals to receive an award from the governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture in September 2018. He was recognized for his keynote speech given to many people with disabilities, and for his work as a lecturer at a local government-sponsored seminar for new educators and instructors who interact with people with disabilities, and as an advisor appointed by the Yamaguchi Labor Bureau for supporting the employment of people with disabilities.