Support for Childcare
and Nursing Care

Support for Childcare Support for Childcare

Policy / way of thinking

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.

SoftBank is working to enhance systems for providing information and support to resolve the concerns and challenges faced by employees who are trying to balance work with caring for senior family members. Our goal is to eliminate the need for employees to leave their jobs due to the burdens of long-term care at home.

External Evaluation

Hataraku Yale 2022 Awarded as an Excellent
Employee Benefit Corporation

Hataraku Yale 2022

The Hatara Yale program certifies and awards companies that make efforts to enhance and utilize employee benefit programs as a measure to support working people.

The award was given in recognition of the company's proactive efforts to enhance its support system for balancing work with childcare and nursing care, and to promote the use of the system.

Company measures to address Japan's low birthrate

As part of our efforts to address the issue of decreasing birthrates, we have established our own childcare support system that exceeds the statutory requirements, including special childbirth allowances.

Special childbirth allowances

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 2021, around 730 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

Maternity / Paternity Leave

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
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.
No legal provisions 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.
The time necessary to receive health guidance or health examinations for expectant and nursing mothers must be reserved for them
  • At least once every 4 weeks until the 23rd week of pregnancy
  • At least once every 2 weeks from the 24th to 35th week
  • At least once a week from the 36th week until delivery
  • With a doctor's order, the number of times above the legal minimum requirements 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.
Based on the guidance of a physician or other health care provider, measures must be taken to limit work during pregnancy, shorten working hours, or take leave from work. Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.
Maternity leave Six weeks prior to and eight weeks after childbirth.
[Note]
  1. *
    Unpaid.
Women shall not be allowed to work for 6 weeks before childbirth (14 weeks in the case of multiple pregnancies, both upon request by the woman) and 8 weeks after childbirth. 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.
No legal provisions Company's original system
  • Five days of special paid leave.
  • Can be continued or taken in installments.

Leave and holidays during childcare

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
childcare leave Available until the day before the child's first birthday. Upon request from a worker, childcare leave shall be granted until the child reaches a maximum of two years of age.
(Extension is possible every six months at the age of 1 year and 1 year and 6 months in case of not being able to enroll in a daycare center, etc.)
  • Salary is paid for the last 5 working days of childcare leave.
  • Available until the child reaches a maximum of three years of age.(If a child is unable to enter a daycare center, etc., an extension is available every year at the age of 1 or 2 years old.)
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
Upon request of a worker, up to five days (unpaid) of leave per year per employee for a child before elementary school age must be allowed to be taken on a daily or hourly basis.
  • Up to 10 days (unpaid) per year per child for children before elementary school age may be taken on a daily or hourly basis.
  • 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.
No legal provisions
    Company’s original system
  • Ten days per year per employee.
  • Salary paid under accumulated annual leave.

Special work arrangements

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
Short working hours during pregnancy Flexible working hours without core hours are available 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.
Must take measures to shorten working hours (based on physician's guidance) Even if there is no guidance from a doctor, it is available by presenting only the fact of pregnancy.
Flexible work schedule during pregnancy Flexible working hours without core hours are available 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.
No legal provisions Even if there is no guidance from a doctor, it is available by presenting only the fact of pregnancy.
Exemption from overtime and late night work during pregnancy Overtime and late night work can be waived. No overtime, holiday or late-night work shall be performed when requested by a pregnant employee. - (Available n as legally required)
Short working hours for childcare Flexible working hours without core hours are available
[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.
A system of shorter working hours of 6 hours per day shall, in principle, be established for workers raising children under 3 years of age. Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Flexible work schedule for childcare Flexible work hours with no core time are available.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Flexible hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. *
    Not available for employees in sales positions.
No legal provisions Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Limitations on overtime, exemption from overtime, and late-night work for childcare Limitation or exemption of overtime work and late-night work. Upon the request of a certain worker who is raising a pre-elementary school child, the worker shall not work overtime or work more than 24 hours per month or 150 hours per year outside the prescribed working hours. In addition, they must not work late at night (from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.). Available until the child graduates elementary school.
Childcare time childcare Time for childcare is available during working hours until the day before the child's first birthday. Upon request of a woman raising a child under one year of age, she must be given at least 30 minutes each twice a day to raise the child. Available regardless of gender

Other

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
Telecommuting Telecommuting (no limit on the number of days) is available. Support the balance between childcare and work by promoting flexible and efficient use of time, and promote a combination of work and home (best mix) to maximize performance. No legal provisions Company’s original system

Initiatives to alleviate child care 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.

[Notes]
  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.

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.

Other activities include the in-house community Haru Urara, which holds lunch meetings and lectures open to all employees, with the aim of building a network among employees and supporting child-rearing.

Promoting male participation in childcare

Declaring paternity leave for all fathers

Declaring paternity leave for all fathers

SoftBank Corp. supports the “Declaring paternity leave for all fathers” sponsored by WORK-LIFE BALANCE Co.,Ltd to promote paternity leave.

Many of the childcare support systems, such as the paid leave system for childbirth by a spouse, childcare leave, kid's leave, and short-time flex work, exceed statutory requirements, making it easier for employees to participate in childcare.

A portal site on the company intranet has been set up with information on childcare support, including interviews with male employees who are balancing work and childcare, as well as childcare-related systems and procedures. Various efforts are being made to encourage male employees to take childcare leave, including the annual corporate version of a parents class to deepen understanding of the need for male childcare leave.

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

Supporting nursing care
and work balance

We have established a support system and information provision system to address the concerns and worries of employees who wish to balance work and nursing care.

Leave and holidays during nursing care

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
Long-term nursing care leave Can be obtained for long-term care of family members.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
Upon request from a worker, the worker must be allowed to take nursing care leave for a family member in need of nursing care up to three times for a total of 93 days.
Eligible persons: spouse, parents, children, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, and spouse's parents.
  • 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.
  • Can be obtained from the Nursing Care Insurance “Support Needed 1” equivalent.
  • In addition to legally eligible persons, spouses of children, spouses of grandchildren, spouses of siblings, grandparents of spouses, and siblings of spouses
Nursing care leave Can be obtained for family care, accompanying family members to hospital, etc.
[Notes]
  1. *
    Unpaid unless replaced with accumulated paid vacation days.
  2. *
    Available in half days or hourly.
Upon request from a worker, up to 5 days (unpaid) of leave per year shall be allowed for a family member in need of nursing care, on a daily or hourly basis.
(Up to 10 days per year for two or more eligible family members)
Eligible persons: spouse, parents, children, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, and spouse's parents.
  • 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..
  • Can be obtained from the Nursing Care Insurance “Support Needed 1” equivalent.
  • In addition to legally eligible persons, spouses of children, spouses of grandchildren, spouses of siblings, grandparents of spouses, and siblings of spouses

Special work arrangements

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
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.
No legal provisions
  • No limitation on the period or number of times of use until the reason for long-term care ceases to exist
  • Available from the equivalent of “Support Needed 1” of the long-term care insurance
Flexible work schedule for nursing care Flexi-time system between 7:00am-10:00pm
[Notes]
  1. *
    Up to 2 hours and 45 minutes/day can be reduced.
  2. *
    Sales staff cannot apply for shorter working hours for nursing care.
No legal provisions
  • No limitation on the period or number of times of use until the reason for long-term care ceases to exist
  • Available from the equivalent of “Support Needed 1” of the long-term care insurance
Postponed and accelerated work schedule for nursing care Limitation or exemption of overtime work and late-night work No legal provisions Available from the nursing care insurance equivalent of “Support Needed 1”.

Other

System Content Legal requirements in Japan Points of the system that exceed the legal minimum requirements
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. No legal provisions Company’s original system
Telecommuting Telecommuting (no limit on the number of days) is available. support the balance between childcare and work by promoting flexible and efficient use of time, and promote a combination of work and home (best mix) to maximize performance. No legal provisions Company’s original system

Seminar to support balancing
work and nursing care

In response to a survey on nursing care for all employees, in which some said they did not understand the company's system or how to balance work and nursing care, we hold a seminar once a year to provide employees with basic knowledge on nursing care and to support their efforts to balance work and nursing care. Through ongoing efforts, we will continue to promote the creation of an environment in which employees can engage in nursing care while working.