Relationships with Employees

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One of the UACJ Group’s company principles is to “nurture staff by creating safe and positive work environments.” Accordingly, we work to address issues concerning human rights, diversity, human resources development, work-life balance, and occupational safety and health.

Basic Workforce Data

UACJ Workforce Data (Parent company)

  2014 2015
Employees 2,668 (265) 2,707 (286)
Men 2,448 (242) 2,489 (262)

Women

220 (23) 218 (24)
Average age 40.1   40.4  
Average years of continuous service 17   17.5  
New hires (excluding temporary transfers) 46   129  
Men 44   127  
Women 2   2  
Employee turnover rate 4.9%   5.5%  
(Voluntary resignations) 1.2%   1.6%  
  • * Figures in parentheses are the average numbers of temporary hires (not included in totals).
  • * As of March 31 of each year.

UACJ Group Workforce Data (Consolidated)

  2014 2015
Group employees (consolidated) 8,556 (895) 8,881 (920)
Men 7,092 (720) 7,375 (743)
Women 1,464 (175) 1,506 (177)
By Region
Japan 5,998 (863) 6,033 (898)
Asia 1,913 (27) 2,120 (18)
Americas 463 (5) 549 (4)
Europe, other 182 (0) 179 (0)

* Figures in parentheses are the average numbers of temporary hires (not included in totals).

Respect for Human Rights

Basic Approach

Among its provisions, the UACJ Group’s Code of Conduct calls for respect for human rights, prohibition of harassment, prohibition of the use of child labor and forced labor, and respect for basic labor rights. Understanding of these points is emphasized in job-level education, intra-departmental education focusing on the Code of Conduct, and in other settings, as well.

Promoting Diversity

Basic Approach

The UACJ Group believes that its competitiveness relies on having diverse human resources. One of the major policies under the human resource development section of the Mid-term Management Plan is to “Practice diversity (respect and utilize individual diversity).” We, therefore, are committed to building and maintaining a system that enables the continuous nurturing of human resources.

Diversity in Employment

The UACJ Group actively maintains a diverse work force to support its business endeavors in new fields and in the global arena. In fiscal 2016, our hiring of new graduates included 19 people (13 men and 6 women) for staff positions, and 19 (19 men) for skilled labor positions. We are also actively hiring people from other countries, and have brought six on board since fiscal 2011.

Creating Work Environments Supporting Career Success for Women

At the UACJ Group, we are actively working to increase career opportunities for women. Our objectives under our action plan based on the Act to Advance Women’s Success in Their Working Life include: 1) Making women 40% of the new college graduates we hire into administrative positions and at least 10% of technical positions; and 2) Doubling by fiscal 2020 the number of women in management positions as of March 2016. As our most recent results along these lines, we hired 19 new college graduates, including 6 women, in fiscal 2016. Women accounted for 75% of the administrative positions filled and 20% of technical positions. Regarding the number of women in management positions, there were 74 female managers across the entire UACJ Group as of the end of fiscal 2015 (March 31, 2016). This reflects an increase of 4* from the end of the previous fiscal year. In response to provisions, such as those of Japan’s Law for Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation, we are striving to create workplaces that allow employees to fulfill both work and child-care responsibilities.

* Includes Group companies that are not consolidated subsidiaries.

Initiatives for Hiring People with Disabilities

UACJ works to achieve the legally mandated workforce percentage for employment of people with disabilities. We do this via UACJ Green-net Corporation, a company recognized as a special subsidiary under Japan’s Act for Promotion of Employment of Persons with Disabilities. The UACJ Green-net Nagoya Office was established in April 2015 to expand work opportunities for people with disabilities. As of June 1, 2016, people with disabilities comprised 2.44%* of UACJ’s workforce, more than the legally mandated 2.0%.

* Calculation of this rate is based on employment data for UACJ, UACJ Foil Corporation (a UACJ subsidiary), and UACJ Green-net Corporation

Employment Rate for People with Disabilities

Graph of Employment Rate for People with Disabilities

Personnel Development Initiatives

Approach to Personnel Development

The UACJ Group sees people who understand our management philosophy and company principles, and act accordingly, as the source of its competitiveness. To practice our management philosophy, we believe it is important to develop people who:

  • Do not simply accept the status quo but instead continuously pursue improvement and change,
  • Have the ability to understand other cultures and can act on a global stage,
  • Have the ability to act in UACJ’s best interest, and
  • Focus on quality and technology, and have the ability to act with a frontline orientation.

In terms of concrete action, we conduct job-level training and seminars, support self-development, and organize improvement activities, based on three basic ideas – employee development based on individual learning, developing subordinates’ abilities on the job, and developing through the organization.
The Human Resources Development Department oversees the development and nurturing of people by filling in gaps to enable personnel development activities to function effectively.

Human Resource Development Program

The UACJ Group’s Human Resources Development mainly uses the Human Resources Development Center in Nagoya Works to conduct job-level training and seminars.

Job-Level Training

The purpose of job-level training is to have employees sharpen their awareness of their job-level roles, acquire the professional capabilities and knowledge required to fulfill their job responsibilities, and deepen their understanding of the company’s aims and systems.

For staff employees, new-hire training, second-year training, and third-year training are conducted for all employees under a system that constantly monitors employees through their first three years. For employees in their fourth year after joining the company, and employees up through department manager level, we conduct senior staff, team leader, new manager, and other types of training in a continuous fashion by job level. We also perform training to prepare people for top management positions in the future.

For employees in skilled labor departments, we conduct new-hire training, third-year training, and fifth-year training for all employees under a system that constantly monitors employees through their first five years. Employees in their sixth year of service attend senior employee, assistant foreman, senior assistant foreman, foreman, general foreman, and other training required depending on job level.

Flg.Job-level training

Fiscal 2015 Job-Level Training Participation

  UACJ Affiliates Total
Management 68 74 142
Staff 106 44 150
Skilled Labor 212 232 444
Total 386 350 736

Seminars

The UACJ Group, separate from job-level training, also conducts seminars mainly for the purposes of helping individuals improve their skills or acquire expert knowledge, and imparting knowledge required for particular workplaces.

In fiscal 2015, we held seminars in areas such as improving leadership skills, instructor development, and the 5S approach to workplace organization. A business communication seminar was also conducted to better equip employees for working in a global environment.

In fiscal 2015, we conducted a total of 36 seminars of 11 types, with participation by 631 employees in all.

Support for Self-Development

In an effort to meet the needs of individual employees and workplaces, we help employees undertake self-development through avenues such as distance learning, preparation to acquire various types of professional certifications, and language study. We have stocked our Human Resources Development Center with approximately 1,800 books that employees may borrow, and we issue a monthly newsletter that carries information on training activities, new additions to the library, and other information intended to promote employee interest in self-development.

Education Support for Group

The Human Resources Development Department supports the education and training of Group company employees by allowing them to participate in job-level training and seminars, and by providing guidance and other forms of on-site support.

In fiscal 2015, 10 QC seminars were conducted at Group company locations.

Developing Human Resources for Overseas Roles

In fiscal 2014, we introduced a two-year overseas training program in which participants spend the first year in language training and the second in practical training. Two employees participated in that inaugural program, and two more are now in the middle of the second iteration of the program, spanning the fiscal 2015-2016 period. We plan to continue with this program as a human resources development tool with a medium-term outlook.

For employees scheduled to be sent on overseas assignments, we identify specific training programs based on each individual’s work history and the demands of the assignment he or she is about to undertake, and then conduct training, which also includes intensive language instruction, on an individual basis.

For employees in general, we provide language training support based on TOEIC scores and conduct business skill seminars to help employees cultivate experience and knowledge.

As part of our efforts to promote education training for employees hired by overseas Group companies, we conducted two management training seminars in fiscal 2015, for approximately 60 participants in total, at affiliates in Thailand.

Picture of Human Resources Development Center
Human Resources Development Center

Improving Frontline Capabilities (Handing down technical skills)

Efforts to pass on the monozukuri (manufacturing) spirit, experience, and skills veteran employees have developed and acquired over their long careers are critical for maintaining product quality and continuously improving productivity.

In preparation for the coming increase in veteran technicians reaching the mandatory retirement age, the UACJ Group’s Nagoya Works began a program in 2004 to transfer the skills, instinct, and “tricks of the trade” - the professional know-how – of veteran employees to their younger colleagues. Similar initiatives are underway in the maintenance department of the Nagoya Works, the extrusion department of UACJ Extrusion Nagoya Corporation, and the pipe manufacturing department of UACJ Copper Tube Corporation, where efforts are tailored to specific manufacturing circumstances. These activities will be continued with an eye toward implementing them at other locations, as well.

Improving the Capabilities of Non-Manufacturing Staff (Ji-Kotei Kanketsu initiative)

To improve the quality and efficiency of the work performed by non-manufacturing staff, we are pursuing initiatives based on the concept of “Ji-Kotei Kanketsu”, or JKK.

JKK in non-manufacturing areas is the concept of individual employees thinking of the customer and downstream processes first, not making or passing on bad products (information), taking pride in and responsibility for their own work, not blaming others, improving themselves, and performing defect-free work. This is an approach we learned from Toyota Motor Corporation, and modified to suit our needs.

Our JKK initiative got underway on a trial basis in June 2009 in the Nagoya region. In April 2010, we launched a team within the Human Resources Development Department to advance this initiative and began promoting JKK throughout the Group.

Rehiring Employees Who Have Reached Mandatory Retirement Age

We are actively rehiring employees who have retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age, and transferring their years of skills, techniques, and know-how to younger employees. As of the end of April 2015, 215 senior employees were back at work.

Work-Life Balance

Basic Approach

The UACJ Group has several systems intended to promote a healthy work-life balance by enabling all employees to focus on the tasks at hand and properly meet responsibilities while at work, and have quality time off to be with their families, study topics of personal interest, enjoy hobbies, or do whatever else they would like. We believe our initiatives along these lines enhance workplace morale and give rise to new perspectives that in turn lead to imaginative products, technologies, and services. Ultimately, we think the benefits include development and growth for the UACJ Group and greater happiness for our employees and their families.

Support for Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities

Category System Description No. of Employees Using
(Fiscal 2015)
Child Care Support Child-care leave The employee may take leave for the desired period up to the time the child reaches the age of 1 year and 6 months, or through the end of the first April after the child becomes 1 year old
(Legal requirement: Leave up to the time the child reaches the age of 1 year)
8
Reduced working hours Working hours may be reduced until the child becomes a fourth grade elementary school student.
(Legal requirement: Until the child reaches the age of 3 years)
2
Overtime exemption

Same as legal requirement.

0
Sick-child leave Same as legal requirement.Leave may be taken to care for a sick child who is not yet in junior high school.
(Legal requirement: Leave for a child not yet in elementary school)
0
Limitation on late-night work Same as legal requirement. 0
Limitation on overtime work Same as legal requirement. 0
Limitation on overtime work Accumulated leave Leave may be taken for child care or to care for a sick child. 11
Baby sitter assistance service Babysitter services by providers arranged by the Company are available at reduced rates. 0
Rehiring of former employees Rehiring of employees who left to give birth or care for children. 0
Nursing Care Support Nursing care Up to 365 calendar days may be taken to provide nursing care
(Legal requirement: 93 days)
0
Reduced working hours Working hours to be reduced for the amount of time needed on each occasion 0
Nursing care leave Same as legal requirement 0
Limitation on overtime work Same as legal requirement 0
Limitation on late-night work Same as legal requirement 0
Accumulated leave Leave may be taken to provide nursing care 0
Rehiring of former employees Rehiring of employees who left to provide nursing care. 0
Other Flex-time system UACJ headquarters; branch offices; offices; and the Nagoya, Fukui, Fukaya, and Nikko works; and technical R&D centers 558
Nursing care Parents and spouses 0
Time off for volunteer activities Leave be may be taken for social welfare, disaster recovery, community and environmental, and other volunteer activities recognized by the Company. 0
Rehiring of former employees Rehiring of employees who left because a spouse was transferred. 0

Child-Care Leave System

t UACJ, 85.7% of the women who took maternity leave in fiscal 2015 used the child-care leave system. As of fiscal 2015, 80% of the women who had taken child-care leave had returned to their jobs, and 100% of these women were still with the Company three years after returning to work. To encourage men to take childcare leave, too, the Company allows expired paid leave to be used for child care. As an additional incentive for men to participate in child care, a system has been established to allow them to take up to five days of leave at their convenience during the first month following the birth of a child.

In fiscal 2015, a total of eight employees – six women and two men - took child-care leave. Going forward, the Company will continue to take steps to help employees balance work and home responsibilities. In April 2015, the Company established a new system for rehiring former employees who left because of reasons such as the birth of a child, the need to provide child or nursing care, or the transfer of their spouse.

Child Care Leave Taken

Fiscal Year Men Women Total
2014 1 8 9
2015 2 6 8

(%)

Fiscal Year Percents of UACJ Employees Returning to Work Following Child-Care Leave Percents of UACJ Employees Still on the Job After Three Years
2014 90% 100%
2015 80% 100%

Appropriate Work Hours

To properly manage work hours and prevent the working of excessive hours, the UACJ Group has implemented a work-time management system to accurately record and verify the times when employees begin and end each day at work. Employees who exceed overtime standards are asked to see an industrial physician.

UACJ has made every Wednesday a no overtime day to reduce overall work hours and promote work productivity and efficiency. And, through steps such as having each employee specify at the beginning of the fiscal year when they will take three consecutive paid days off (5 days every fifth year), we are systematically creating conditions that make it easier to take time off. Our aim in doing this is to achieve greater improvements in work efficiency by encouraging employees to refresh themselves mentally and physically.

UACJ Overtime Hours

(h)

Fiscal Year Average Overtime Hours
2014 28.2
2015 31.6

Paid Days Off Taken

(Days)

Fiscal Year Yearly Average Paid Days Off Taken
2009 9.5
2010 10.4
2011 10.9
2012 12.1
2013 11.7
2014 10.9
2015 12.1

* Figures for fiscal 2012 and earlier are sums for Furukawa-Sky and Sumitomo Light Metal Industries, which later merged to form UACJ. Figures for fiscal 2013 are totals of the sums for the two UACJ predecessors for the first half (April 1 to September 30, 2013) and UACJ for the second half (October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014).

In 2013, the UACJ Group implemented a system under which employees can take up to 50 days a year of expired paid leave to participate in social welfare, disaster recovery, local community, environmental conservation, or other company-approved volunteer activities under the auspices of the national or local governments, or quasi-governmental non-profit organizations.

Occupational Safety and Health

Basic Stance on Occupational Safety and Health

We advance safety and hygiene activities that are joined in by all employees and start from the view that employee safety, hygiene, and health are all top priorities.

More specifically, we comply with laws and ordinances, and our own internal rules, concerning employee safety and hygiene, and have constructed occupational safety and health management systems. Through proper management, we strive to create work environments that are safe, hygienic, and healthy.

Basic Policies on Safety and Health

Philosophy

The UACJ Group, recognizing that the existence of a business enterprise rests on a foundation of employee safety and health and that ensuring employee safety and health is a social responsibility of business enterprises, will respect the following principles as a matter of course.

Principles

  1. We will place employee safety and health before all else in all business activities.
  2. To eliminate all workplace hazards as a step toward achieving zero workplace accidents, we will take the required organizational measures, allocate the necessary management resources, and, with the participation of all employees, strive to implement safety and health activities on an ongoing basis.
  3. We will comply with the Industrial Safety and Health Law and other related laws and ordinances, and ensure employee safety and health in accordance with the safety and health provisions established by the Group companies.
  4. Gaining the cooperation of employees, we will conduct education and training that is necessary and adequate for ensuring safety and health for all employees, and continuously implement safety and health activities, to constantly elevate safety and hygiene standards.
  5. Sharing information on safety and health activities within the Group, and pursuing mutual enlightenment, we will work to improve understanding of safety and health principles, and raise safety and health awareness, among all employees.
  6. We will advance the development of comfortable work environments to reduce worker fatigue and stress.
  7. We will work to develop and implement new safety and health methods and technologies.

Safety and Health Management System

Safety and Hygiene Committee

The UACJ Group has built a safety and health management system in which leadership is exercised by the general safety and health managers at individual business locations. The purpose of the system is to create work environments where workers can be confident that their safety and health are being adequately protected.

Overseeing safety and health at the Group level is the Safety and Health Committee. Chaired by the Executive Officer in Charge of Safety and Health, the committee, which meets once a year, is composed of members including full-time directors, works managers, and presidents of affiliates. At the meeting held in January 2016, the Safety & Environment Department presented a report on 2015 activities, and then the committee discussed and approved directions to be taken in safety and health activities for fiscal 2016. President’s Safety Awards for 2015 were presented to those business locations that experienced no accidents during the fiscal year.

Picture of President’s Safety Award
President’s Safety Award(Fukaya Works)
Picture of President’s Safety Award
President’s Safety Award(UACJ Copper Tube)

Safety and Hygiene Managers’ Committee

The Safety and Hygiene Managers’ Committee, with members including representatives of the Safety & Environment Department, and Safety Managers of the works and principal affiliates, meets once every month to discuss safety and work environment inspections and maintenance at each business location. The committee also discusses the advancement of rule unification and implementation of safety measures across the breadth of the Group.

Going forward, we will continue to act vigorously to ensure that our safety and health management systems are equal to our needs.

Safety Management Initiatives (Occupational Safety and Health Management System)

The Nagoya, Fukui, Fukaya, and Nikko works have adopted and are operating worker safety and health management systems, and are pursuing activities with the goal of achieving zero accidents in the workplace.

Safety and health activity plans are prepared at each works in accordance with the UACJ Group’s safety and health activity aims. Plans are finalized once they are approved by the head of each works, and then discussed and approved by the local Safety and Health Committee, which consists of even representation of workers and management.

To help ensure that safety and health management is practiced at the highest standards, we have established internal audit and other schemes based on the management system. Through internal audits, we conduct self-assessments of system operations, assuring in the process, that PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) cycles are being used. In addition, to enhance the safety management standards of the entire UACJ Group, we hold annual liaison meetings of people in charge of safety and hygiene at affiliates.

To achieve further enhancement going forward, we intend to improve the accuracy of internal audits.

Conditions with Regard to Workplace Accidents

The UACJ Group aims to eliminate workplace accidents, regardless of scale, and the Group is working together to strengthen safety management systems.

Prior to the merger, workplace accidents at the UACJ Group came to 49 for fiscal 2011. Since then they have been trending downward, falling to 22 in fiscal 2015. The rate of accidents requiring time off from work came to 0.74, with an overall frequency rate of 1.63.

Workplace Accidents

Graph of Workplace Accidents

  • ※Figures for fiscal 2013 are totals of the sums for the two UACJ predecessors for the first half (April 1 to September 30, 2013) and UACJ for the second half (October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014).
  • ※The overall frequency rate is a measure of the rate at which workplace accidents occurred during the fiscal year. It is calculated by dividing the total number of worker fatalities and injuries (including cases not requiring time off) resulting from a workplace accident during the fiscal year, by one million hours.
  • ※The rate of accidents requiring time off from work is a measure of the frequency of workplace accidents that occurred during the fiscal year and required workers to take time off from work. It is calculated by dividing the total number of workplace accidents that occurred during the measurement period and required time off from work, by one million hours.

Group-Wide Safety Inspections

Safety inspections of the principal workplaces of each business location are performed once a month on a rotating basis.

Safety inspections are performed with the participation of the Safety & Environment Department, people in charge of safety and health at each business location, and the head of the business location being inspected. Their objective is to determine whether work is being performed in line with standards and whether any risks have been overlooked.

For work locations and procedures for which safety inspections have identified problems, improvements are undertaken immediately. Two months afterward, the Safety & Environment Department confirms the status of corrective measures by performing an on-site inspection as a part of follow-up procedures that ensure complete compliance with safety measures.

Toward Intrinsic Safety

The UACJ Group is striving to achieve intrinsic safety in its equipment and facilities. To do this, we are conducting risk assessments by examining work processes from various angles to thoroughly eliminate hazards and harmful factors. Safety measures are taken beginning with the facilities, equipment, and work approaches evaluated as having high risk levels. Residual risks, too, are all addressed with provisional measures.

The UACJ Group introduced uniform equipment safety standards in March 2015. Zones are being delineated based on these equipment safety standards, and thorough safety measures are implemented for each. Furthermore, when facilities are to be newly introduced or modified, intrinsic safety is achieved by conducting checklist-based safety examinations at the design, operational startup, and other stages.

Safety-First Corporate Culture and Personnel Development

At the UACJ Group, safety and health education is conducted as a part of job-level training. Key components include safety and health education, raising awareness of safety, and an enhanced experiential approach to sensing danger. Crane and forklift operation contests, for example, are regularly held to encourage employees to improve their skills in using this equipment.

For personnel in the position of guiding and managing others, safety and health education and training sessions are held to promote acquisition of the position, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for implementing safety management. In addition, to elevate safety and health management standards at individual Group companies, safety and health education, safety inspections, and other support initiatives are actively undertaken to foster a safety-first corporate culture and advance personnel development along the same lines throughout the Group.

Picture of Crane operation and slinging skill contest
Crane operation and slinging skill contest

Principal Safety and Health Awards

Award Recipient Description
Hiroshima Prefecture Labor Standards Association, Miyoshi Branch
Safety and Health Award
(May 2015)
NIKKEI KAKOH CO., LTD. For safety and health initiatives and facilities
Japan Aluminum Association
Excellent Labor Safety Work Place Prize for Excellence
(May 2015)
UACJ Extrusion Gunma Corporation For zero accidents over the past three years
Nara Labor Standards Association
Labor Standards Association Individual Safety Award
Award for Three Consecutive Zero-Accident Months
(October, 2015)
ACE21 Nara Center For continued zero-accident performance and contributions to the Regional Association for the Promotion of Industrial Safety and Health

For zero accidents during June, July, and August
Japan Crane Association
recognizing outstanding sling work by a crane operator
(November 2015)
Nagoya Works For outstanding sling work by crane operator
Japan Boiler Association
recognizing outstanding boiler work by boiler engineers
(November 2015)
Nagoya Works For outstanding work by boiler engineers
Japan Industrial Safety & Health Association
Award for Zero Workplace Accidents by a Small and Medium Enterprise
(March 2016)
Nalco Koriyama Co., Ltd. For 500 consecutive zero-accident days

Mental Health Care Initiatives

The UACJ Group strives to maintain and improve the mental and physical health of employees, whom it sees as important business assets. We do this based on employee mental health maintenance and improvement guidelines prepared by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Given the understanding that early detection of symptoms is important for mental health care, we incorporate mental health care education, including prevention and early detection tips, in job-level training, so that all employees can have correct knowledge and understanding of this important topic.

In addition, for management, which plays a key organizational role in supervising and developing those who work under them, we systematically and continuously conduct education and training to strengthen mental health care measures. We also conduct self-care training for non-management employees in their 20s and 30s to help them maintain their mental and physical health, provide this group with information to facilitate prevention and care, and address mental health care from various other angles as well.

For early identification of those who are experiencing mental health issues, we conduct line (or workplace) care in which managers, in their daily activities, provide individual guidance and advice. When an employee is thought to have a mental health condition, the department in charge of mental health care is contacted and appropriate measures are taken without delay. Our efforts to thoroughly look after workers’ mental health also include consultations and health advice from industrial physicians and cooperation with outside institutions specializing in mental health care.

Workplace Environment Improvement Activities

To make better workplace environments, we are systematically taking steps to improve conditions with regard to summer heat, winter cold, dust, and noise; eliminate work that requires excessive physical exertion or taxing body positions; and add break areas and other features (e.g. adding or renovating break areas and on-site restrooms) that make environments more liveable. Measures to deal with summer heat have been a particular focus, and the installation of air conditioning and ventilation equipment is proceeding as planned.

Employee-Management Relationship

Until recently, UACJ employees belonged to labor unions originally organized at the two companies that merged to form UACJ. On October 13, 2015, however, the two unions merged to form the UACJ Labor Union. Employees of Group companies remain members of the unions formed at their companies. Relations between the labor unions and the companies where they have been organized are harmonious and healthy communications are maintained through regular meetings. In April 2016, labor-management committees were formed at UACJ and at Group companies to discuss possible measures for improving work-life balance by shortening working hours.