Support for Childcare
and Nursing Care

Supporting a balance
between childcare and work

One of the most fundamental duties for companies is creating a work environment supportive of childbirth and parenting, where employees balancing work and childcare can reach their full potential. In order to achieve this, SoftBank has put in place childcare support system policies and a general business plan in accordance with Japan's Law on the Promotion of Measures to Support Fostering of the Next Generation.

Company measures to address Japan's low birthrate

Company measures to address Japan's low birthrate

SoftBank Corp. provides regular employees with childbirth allowances ranging from 50,000 yen up to a maximum of five million yen. In fiscal 2020, around 760 employees gave birth to their first or second child, while around 80 employees had their third, fourth, or fifth child.

Years with SoftBank Under one year Over one year
Number of children born All First born Second born Third born Fourth born Fifth born and beyond
Allowance 20,000 yen 50,000 yen 100,000 yen 1 million yen 3 million yen 5 million yen

Child support system policy outline

To support employees during pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare, SoftBank Corp. offers flexible work systems to employees from pregnancy until the child reaches the end of elementary school.

  • Child support system policy outline

Details

Category System Content Paid paternity leave in excess of legally required minimum
Maternity leave Child plan Accumulated annual leave can be acquired due to hospital visits or hospitalization for infertility treatment.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Applicable to accumulated paid vacation only.
  2. *
    Half days available.
Company's original system
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Maternity leave for outpatient medical care Leave required for medical checkups during pregnancy available until one year post-delivery.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  2. *
    Half days available.
  • With a doctor's order, the number of times above the legal limit is allowed.
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Maternity protection care leave Can be obtained if received a doctor's order regarding maternal protection.
[Note]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Maternity leave Six weeks prior to and eight weeks after childbirth.
[Note]
  1. *
    Unpaid.
  • Employees working in sales can take special maternity leave from the time they find out they are pregnant.
Paternity leave One week prior to and one month after childbirth.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Paid.
  2. *
    Half days available.
Company's original system
  • Five days of special paid leave.
  • Can be continued or taken in installments.
Leave and holidays during childcare Childcare leave Until the day before the child's first birthday.
[Note]
  1. *
    Unpaid.
  • Accumulated annual leave is granted for the last five working days of childcare leave.
  • In the case that the child cannot be placed in a nursery school and unable to return to work, the leave can be extended every year (at the age of one or two) up to the day before the child's third birthday.
Sick / injured childcare leave Can be obtained until the child is in elementary school, including nursing care of the child and accompanying the child to immunizations and health checkups.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  2. *
    Available in half days or by hourly.
  • Ten days per year per child.
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Kids' leave Available until the child graduates from elementary school in cases where the employee is unable to care for the child, accompany the child to vaccinations and medical checkups, attend nursery school and school events, or care for the child due to circumstances at the nursery school, kindergarten, or elementary school or hospitalization of the spouse.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  2. *
    Half days available.
    Company's original system
  • Ten days per year per employee.
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Special work arrangements Short working hours during pregnancy Flexible working hours without core hours can be acquired from the time of finding out about the pregnancy until before the baby is born.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Flexible time: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. *
    Flexible hours can be shortened by up to 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  3. *
    Shortened working hours during pregnancy apply to employees in sales positions.
Even if there is no guidance from a doctor, it is possible to obtain it by presenting only the fact of pregnancy.
Flexible work schedule during pregnancy Flexible working hours without core hours can be acquired from the time of finding out about the pregnancy until before the baby is born.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Flexible hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. *
    Not available for employees in sales positions.
Even if there is no guidance from a doctor, it is possible to obtain it by presenting only the fact of pregnancy.
Short working hours for childcare Flexible work hours with no core time.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Flexible time: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. *
    Flexible hours can be shortened by up to 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  3. *
    Shortened working hours during childcare apply to employees in sales positions.
Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Flexible work schedule for childcare Flexible work hours with no core time.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Flexible hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. *
    Not available for employees in sales positions.
Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Postponed and accelerated work schedule for childcare Limitation or exemption of overtime work and late-night work. Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Overtime / late-night work limits for childcare Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Other Childcare service for remote workers Support for employees who have “limited working hours or commuting difficulties” due to childcare, nursing care. To work efficiently by expanding working hours and reducing commuting. Company's original system

Initiatives to alleviate childcare concerns

Initiatives to alleviate childcare concerns

Orientations and consultation meetings are held to provide parental support to employees. To lessen anxiety during childcare leave (including leave taken before and after birth), employees may continue to use their company-issued mobile phone and iPad and can access the company's intranet and e-learning tools.
Additionally, employees have access to daycare, babysitting, and housekeeping services through our employee welfare program “Benefit Station”, and can receive childcare subsidies for children attending affiliated nursery schools.

[Note]
  1. *
    Benefit Station is a benefit welfare service provided by Benefit One Inc.
Consultation meeting held prior to maternity leave A consultation meeting with HR to discuss and receive explanations on services available during pregnancy, as well as procedures and subsidies after childbirth. An e-learning session is also available for employees unable to attend in person.
Orientation during childcare leave An orientation open to both parent and child which takes place during childcare leave. Discussions are held amongst employees on childcare leave about systems and preparation for returning to the workplace. The orientation is a great opportunity to spend time with other working mothers and reacquaint with colleagues after being away from the office.
Return to work orientation A discussion held to discuss any issues about returning to work, and introduce return to work systems and communities.

Family orientated activities

In cooperation with NPO C.C.C. Furano Nature School, SoftBank Corp. holds programs every year during the school summer break to foster understanding of nature and the environment as well as to help build strong family units. The programs are an opportunity for families to spend time together in the rich nature of Hokkaido.

The Company offers a number of programs to help strengthen bonds between friends and family. These including Family Day, an event where family members of employees can visit the office, Family Award, a showcase for family pictures, and paid-leave vacation.

At the October 2019 Family Day 950 employee families came and enjoyed a festival style event as well as taking commemorative photographs with Pepper.

Family Day 2019
Family Day 2019
Family Day 2019
Family Day 2019

Building a strong employee support network in childcare

Building a strong employee support network in childcare

Oya Oya Club (Parents Club) was established in 2004 by a group of childcare peer supporters with the aim of improving parent-child communication.

The club provides communication training through workshops on basic counseling and coaching, which teach skills for understanding children's communication signals and building trust. The club also builds awareness in topics such as children's emotional development and parents' communication habits, both of which significantly influence communication. This nine-session course is held twice a year during employees' lunch break, and a mix of 20 male and female employees participate in each session, with 410 individuals having completed the course thus far.

Alongside this, events including lectures and lunches held by women community groups and activities aimed at fathers are also ongoing.

Supporting nursing care
and work balance

Japan's decreasing birthrate and aging population are bringing about a period of demographic burden.

By enhancing the provision of information and implementing a support system to respond to employees who wish to balance work and nursing care, we aim to reduce employee turnover due to nursing care responsibilities to zero.

Category System Content Features that exceed legal requirements
Leave and holidays during nursing care Long-term nursing care leave Can be obtained for long-term care of family members.
[Note]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  • Can be acquired for a total of one year
  • No limit on the number of times the leave can be taken in installments.
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Nursing care leave Can be obtained for family care, accompanying family members to hospital, etc.
[Note]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  2. *
    Available in half days or by hourly.
  • Each eligible family member is allowed 10 days per year. (e.g., up to 20 days for a family of two, up to 30 days for a family of three)
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Special work arrangements Short working hours for nursing care Working hours can be shortened by up to two hours and 45 minutes per day
(application for extension required on a yearly basis; no extension limit)
[Notes]
  1. *
    Flexible hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. *
    Not available for employees in sales positions.
Flexible work schedule for nursing care Flexi-time system between 7:00am-10:00pm
(unavailable for sales employees)
Postponed and accelerated work schedule for nursing care Limitation or exemption of overtime work and late-night work
Other Shinkansen or limited express train commuting for long-term caregivers Permitted for employees who have commuting difficulties due to long-term nursing care if meet the requirements. Company's original system
Childcare service for remote workers Support for employees who have “limited working hours or commuting difficulties” due to childcare, nursing care. To work efficiently by expanding working hours and reducing commuting. Company's original system