Labor Standards and Practices

Basic Concept

To support its employees in balancing work and life, Sumitomo Electric is committed to promoting a work style that makes a clear distinction between work and life by adjusting working hours and improving productivity. For example, the Company attained the goals set under its seven action plans, which were formulated on the basis of the Law for Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation. Consequently, Sumitomo Electric has been certified by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as a business that helps its employees balance work and childcare.


To create an environment where diverse human resources can work lively, the union and management have set up expert committees of various kinds to improve working systems and reinforce monitoring functions.
In addition, we regularly implement Questionnaire Surveys of Employees and organize town hall meetings where employees can have direct dialogue with executives. We make use of the opinions received in the survey and the meetings for organizational operation and planning of personnel systems.

Discussion Between Labor and Management

Sumitomo Electric believes that the development of a company goes hand-in-hand with the well-being of its workers' union members. On the basis of this belief, Sumitomo Electric strives to address various relevant issues by thorough discussion between labor and management, each party appreciating the other's standpoint.
The Central Management Council Meeting, which is held four times a year, has been organized in its history of more than 70 years.
Representatives of labor and management meet for opinion exchange concerning business environments and managing conditions in this meeting. We have also set up expert committees of various kinds, such as the Working Hour Reduction Expert Committee and the Health and Welfare Expert Committee.
To facilitate adaptation to diverse work styles and create an environment where all employees can work lively with smiles, we are improving various working systems and reinforcing monitoring functions.

System for Listening to Employee Opinion

●Implementation of Questionnaire Surveys of Employees

With the aim of creating a lively working environment, Sumitomo Electric started conducting an annual survey in 2006 targeting employees working at Sumitomo Electric and group companies in Japan. We monitored annual changes in employee liveliness, activity levels of organizations and the effects of personnel-related measures thereby utilizing the results for future planning. In 2022, we modified the survey contents and renamed it to the Sumitomo Electric Group Global Engagement Survey in order to roll it out to group companies overseas and enhance employee engagement. The results will continue to be used as reference information for various initiatives.

●Organization of Town Hall Meetings

Town hall meetings are held with the attendance of executives including the President, administrative members and manufacturing site managers. They involve vigorous exchange of opinions on the direction the company should take and problems to be solved, such as how managers should train subordinates and younger employees and how the workplaces should be operated. We also hold informal meetings to create a lively working environment, at which the HR & Administration Department holds dialogues with younger staffs and listens to their voices directly, on personnel issues including the current situation of each workplace regarding work style reforms, the personnel evaluation system and career building. We use these meetings to improve personnel-related measures, deepen young employees' understanding of the personnel system, and enhance motivation.

Work Style Reform

Promotion of Work Style Reforms Aiming to Establish Workplaces Where Employees Can Work in an Energetic Manner and to Promote Diversity Management

Since 2008, we have been promoting company-wide activities to realize work styles that balance work and life and conducting both company-wide and division-specific initiatives to reduce total annual working hours, encourage employees to take paid time off, and improve work efficiency and productivity.
We now conduct initiatives from various perspectives, including efforts to change the corporate culture and awareness, as well as enhancement of productivity through the use of infrastructure and IT tools and the review of work rules and processes.
We are taking measures in response to the issues of individual workplaces and persons identified based on findings in the Sumitomo Electric Group Global Engagement Survey, a questionnaire survey to investigate the awareness of employees, with an aim to make the workplaces more attractive.
We will continue to review work styles, which will not only reduce working hours but also contribute to the maintenance and improvement of business performance, for the growth of our business.

Expansion of Time Off Systems

While promoting review of work styles, we are committed to encouraging employees to take paid time off by introducing the Planned Paid Time Off System (planned provision of annual paid time off) (two days for each division and five days for each individual) and a system of paid time off that can be taken by the hour. Other efforts to create an environment where employees can take paid time off easily include the Five Consecutive Paid Time Off System, in which employees can take paid time off for five consecutive days at intervals of certain length of service.

Introduction of Work-Interval System

In April 2020, for the purpose of ensuring stable rest time, maintaining the health of employees by restricting long working hours, and sustaining and further improving productivity, we introduced a work-interval system, which aims to ensure that employees have a sufficient amount of rest from the finish time of a day to the start time of the following business day.

Introduction and Expansion of Work from Home Arrangements

We introduced work from home arrangements, which allow employees who face restrictions on their work due to childcare, nursing care, etc. to work at home or other locations, in fiscal 2016. In October 2018, we started to allow other employees who meet specific requirements, such as the ability to autonomously fulfill duties and make achievements, to use the system. The purposes of the expansion of the system include the realization of flexible and efficient work styles and the improvement of productivity through the review of work styles.
Since 2020, we have been actively encouraging employees to work from home by, for example, temporarily removing the monthly cap on the maximum number of days to work from home, which aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and ensure business continuity at the same time. We will further promote the effective operation of work from home to increase the flexibility of work styles and create an environment where diverse talents can demonstrate their capabilities.

Special certification mark "Platinum Kurumin"

Support of Employees in Balancing Work and Life

These efforts have been generating positive results, as exemplified by the fact that many female employees who have given birth take childcare leave and return to work. We have been expanding systems to make it easier for male employees to participate in childrearing. Specifically, male employees can now also take childcare leave as well as a day off when their spouse gives birth.
Also, we are making efforts to enhance each employee’s understanding about balancing work and life by posting a guidebook that introduces systems for balancing work and life and how to use them on the intranet. In this way, we are committed to various initiatives toward creating a working environment where employees can balance work and life.

Childcare Centers
Childcare Centers

Support for employees in childcare(Childcare Centers, Hokatsu Concierge System)

Sumitomo Electric opened childcare centers at its Yokohama and Osaka Works in March and April 2008 respectively, and added a third center in Itami Works in March 2009 (The Osaka childcare center is jointly operated with Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited). In September 2018, we started using a childcare center in the Tokyo area, which is jointly operated by Sumitomo Electric and six other companies.
Furthermore, in October 2014, we introduced the Childcare Concierge service to provide assistance in finding childcare facilities for employees who cannot use our childcare centers.

Introduction of Reemployment System

In April 2008, Sumitomo Electric introduced a scheme to reemploy employees resigning due to circumstances beyond their control such as childbirth, childcare and nursing care. In the scheme, we organize interviews and reemploy eligible persons when they are able to return to work (within three years or, for those who moved overseas, five years from their resignation) and, as a general rule, assign them to their former workplaces.

Introduction of System to take a leave to
accompany his/her spouse who is assigned overseas

In April 2017, we introduced a system in which an employee can take a leave of absence to accompany his/her spouse who is assigned overseas and return to work after the leave. This system allows temporary retirement in such a situation with the aim of preventing employees from retiring.