Labor Practices and Human Rights

We promote optimal personnel assignment based on abilities, aspiration, and aptitude, and regardless of age, gender, or educational background. We particularly give special priority to fostering personnel who can excel in our growing international business and other global capacities. As a company advocating health, we strive to create a workplace where employees can stay healthy and work with peace of mind, where there is respect for individuality, and where independent and creative people come together to cultivate a corporate culture that is open and free.

Formulation of a Health Declaration (September 15, 2017)

In order to realize our corporate philosophy of "We contribute to the health and happiness of people around the world through pursuit of excellence in life science in general and our research and experience in microorganisms in particular," we believe that it is essential for our employees to maintain and improve their own health. So we announce that we have established a “Health Declaration.”
Based on this “Health Declaration,” we will actively engage in the maintenance and promotion of employee health and promote operations that contribute to health.

Health Declaration

Based on the recognition that employee health is essential to realizing the philosophy of "contributing to people's health," Yakult will strive to maintain and improve the mental and physical health of employees and create a safe and secure workplace environment.

Continuous employment system

Yakult introduced a Continuous Employment System in April 2006, which is designed to reemploy personnel who have reached retirement age as full-time and contract workers.The system has been revised as needed in alignment with the intent of the Act for Stabilization of Employment of Older Persons etc.

Ratio of continuous employment at retirement age
Fiscal year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number of persons at mandatory retirement age 58 68 69 61 33
Number engaged in continuous employment at Yakult 30 35 40 43 21
Number of continuous workers who transfer to another company 13 16 14 11 6
Number of persons who choose to retire 15 17 15 7 6
Ratio of continuous employment* (%) 74.1 75.0 78.3 88.5 81.8

* Calculation of continuous employment rate includes those persons who have transferred to another company.

Empowerment of female employees

A material issue in our human resource strategy concerns the empowerment of female employees, not only in response to the problems of an aging population and a declining birthrate plus a decline in the productive population, but also since the home delivery of our products, our core business, is supported by female employees.
We formulated an action plan in line with the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace that was enforced in April 2016. The fundamental philosophy of the plan can be summarized in the following three points.

  • Fundamental philosophy
  • 1. Promote optimal employee placement in light of abilities, aspiration and aptitude, regardless of gender.
  • 2. Enhance the workplace environment so that women aspiring to have a career are able to balance both work and private life with family.
  • 3. Set precise target figures and formulate an action plan.
Number and rate of female managers (Yakult Honsha)
Fiscal year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number of female managers 32 33 40 44 44
Rate of female managers (%) 4.2 4.3 5.3 6.1 6.0

Employment of persons with disabilities

Yakult actively promotes the recruitment of persons with disabilities with the aim of creating environments in which diverse human resources can work with vitality. After entering the Company, those with disabilities receive help from those around them and work in the same manner as persons without disabilities, with this system generating positive results.

Rate of employees with disabilities (Yakult Honsha)
Fiscal year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Rate of employees with disabilities (%) (annual average) 1.84 1.98 1.99 2.20 2.11
Legally mandated employment rate (%) 1.8 2.0

Worker safety and peace of mind

Yakult is committed to safety management and strives to create comfortable work environments so that employees can work with peace of mind. A particular area of focus has been mental health measures, an area that has become a social issue in recent years. We have been conducting initiatives related to health management from both mental and physical perspectives for employees throughout the company.

Work accident frequency rate and severity rate (Yakult Honsha)
Fiscal year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Whole industry average*3
Work accident frequency rate*1 0.17 0.33 0.71 0.873 0.35 1.61
Work accident severity rate*2 0.006 0.002 0.0066 0.0059 0.0081 0.07
  • *1 Work accident frequency rate: Injuries and deaths caused by work accidents /Total work hours x 1,000,000
  • *2 Work accident severity rate: Number of work days lost / Total work hours x 1,000
  • *3 Whole industry average: Partial extract from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Survey on Industrial Accidents (2015)

Promoting the use of annual allotments of paid holidays

To promote employees’ use of their annual allotments of paid holidays, Yakult Honsha has created a system that encourages the use of a paid holiday by each employee on his or her birthday and anniversary, as well as for volunteer activities. Going forward, we will push ahead with the creation of work environments in which it is even easier to take annual allotments of paid holidays.

Rate of using annual allotment of paid holidays (Yakult Honsha)
Fiscal year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Rate of using annual allotment of paid holidays (%) 47.7 50.6 53.0 55.5 58.9

Balancing work and childcare

Acquisition of Kurumin Mark certification

In July 2012, Yakult Honsha was certified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as an “enterprise that supports childcare” and received the Kurumin next generation accreditation mark from the Tokyo Labor Bureau.The Kurumin Mark was created based on the Act for Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation, which has the objective of helping create environments that facilitate the healthy birth and appropriate rearing of Japan’s next generation. Companies that institute action plans to support the development of the next generation and that implement action plan measures that meet specified standards are deemed qualified to receive the Kurumin Mark.

Kurumin Mark

Kurumin Mark

Childcare leave

We have established a saved leave system in which employees can make use of the portion of paid leave that exceeds the limit allowed to carry forward for other purposes. Such saved leave can be used for childcare leave or nursing care leave, which has led to an increase in the number of male employees taking childcare leave.

Number of employees taking childcare leave (Yakult Honsha)
Fiscal year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Male employees
(number of people /utilization rate*)
4 2 3 5 12
5.3% 2.6% 2.7% 5.4% 10.7%
Female employees(number of people) 25 28 20 21 36

* Rate of male employees taking childcare leave: Number of male employees taking childcare leave divided by the number of male employees whose spouse has given birth

* The percent of female employees who take childcare leave was 100%.

Mr. Matsumoto

Mr. Matsumoto Shonan Cosmetics Plant Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.

Round-table meetings for childcare leave takers prior to returning to workplaces

As part of its efforts to provide pleasant workplace environments, we organize round-table meetings for childcare leave takers preparing to return to their workplaces. At the meetings we provide diverse kinds of information and support them so that they can return to their workplaces with peace of mind and subsequently maintain a good balance between work and childcare.

Round-table meetings for childcare leave takers prior to returning to workplaces

Establishment of daycare centers for Yakult Ladies that are open to the public

The Yakult Group supports women’s advancement in society and supports the creation of a pleasant working environment for Yakult Ladies from diverse perspectives. One of these is the running of daycare centers that have been set up inside marketing companies nationwide, a program that began in the 1970s.

Establishment of daycare centers for Yakult Ladies that are open to the public

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