Promoting work–life balance
Flexible and diverse working arrangements
Support for employees caring for aging family members
Work–life balance support systems
Promoting work style reforms
We have published Mizuho's Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, outlining our aim of being an organization that promotes flexible work styles and supports its employees' work/life commitments, goals, and interests, helping them achieve both personal and professional fulfillment. To that end, we are pursuing work style reforms to have 100% of eligible male employees take childcare leave and enable employees to work remotely.
Flexible and diverse working arrangements
Flexible working hours
At Mizuho, we are promoting highly productive work for each and every employee by introducing a work style and management system based on the premises of rethinking the meaning of "work" and flexibly choosing his/her working "time" and "place."
In order to help employees work more effectively and productively, Mizuho offers the option of flexible working hours, such as flextime (options with and without core hours) and staggered working hours, to suit the needs of each workplace.
We also provide systems that support a good work–life balance for employees facing time limitations due to childcare and aging family care, above and beyond legal requirements. For example, employees with young children can select to work full days on some days of the week and shortened hours on other days, allowing them to flexibly adjust their working hours to fit their family's situation, their spouse's work schedule, or other circumstances.
Remote work options
In order to provide employees with flexibility in terms of the location where they work, we have set up satellite offices and introduced a remote work system available for all employees.
We have put in place the necessary framework to ensure that employees can work without coming in to the office, and this has particularly enabled employees facing time limitations due to childcare and aging family care to make maximum use of the periods of time when they are best able to work. Also, with progress in development of the remote work environment, and due to the spread of COVID–19, a large number of employees are making full use of the system to manage their daily jobs. This has not only prevented further spread of the virus but has also enabled a more efficient working style, demonstrating the benefits of remote work.
An employee (at the far end of the table) joins a meeting from home via tablet videoconferencing
Initiatives to reduce overtime work
In order to maintain employee health and avoid burnout, and in strict observance of labor laws and regulations, not only is Mizuho taking a strong stance against overwork, but we also ask each office or branch, and each employee to set work efficiency goals, and to make proactive efforts to reduce their overtime work through increases in productivity.
In particular, we have achieved more effective operational management by encouraging the use of tablets, which support our efforts to go paperless and which employees can use to join online meetings from remote locations using IT tools, and draw up proposals while meeting with clients directly or remotely.
Other initiatives aimed at reducing overtime work include designated days where all employees are encouraged to leave the office on time ("Refresh Summer", "Refresh Winter", "Family Day"), and the automatic extinguishing of all lights at Head Office at a set time in the evening.
ESG DataBook: Average number of overtime hours worked per month (PDF/759KB)
Encouraging the use of annual leave
We are aiming to continue having our employees take 70% of their paid annual leave per year by setting it as one of our KPIs. At the same time, we are continuing to encourage employees to schedule periods of consecutive leave at appropriate intervals. Aside from standard full days off, employees can also use their paid annual leave to take a half day off up to 32 times per year, which allows them to use their leave flexibly in line with their particular situations, including their childcare, caregiving, or other responsibilities. In addition, employees can take advantage of a variety of special types of leave, such as parental leave for when one's partner gives birth, "refresh leave" for employees reaching certain long service milestones, self–development leave, and volunteer activities leave.
Support for working parents
Mizuho offers several programs, above and beyond those required by law, to minimize work–related obstacles to having and raising children, such as childcare leave until the child reaches age two, and reduced working hours until the child reaches the third grade of elementary school (about age 8 to 9). In addition, we support the balance between work and childcare through various means including company-led daycare centers, various seminars, and the preparation of manuals.
Childcare leave for male employees
By encouraging male employees to take childcare leave, we aim to enable these employees to achieve a better work–life balance and to reduce the disproportionate amount of childcare responsibility that tends to be taken on by women. Our belief is that a strong commitment to achieving a healthy work–life balance leads to a more productive workplace.
We have set a KPI to maintain our standard of 100% of eligible male employees taking childcare leave. We are working to change the mindset and behavior of all executives and employees by providing five paid business days of childcare leave and by having managers encourage male employees to take childcare leave when a child is born.
Since July 2019, the presidents of Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, Mizuho Securities, and Mizuho Research & Technologies have participated in the Declaration for 100% Paternity Leave by Men of Work-Life Balance Co., Ltd.
Employer-sponsored childcare centers
Given the limited number of childcare centers for children in Japan today, Mizuho provides slots specially set aside for Mizuho employees at more than 400 employer-sponsored childcare centers throughout Japan to enable employees to return to work smoothly. By making it possible for our employees to use childcare centers near their homes or on their way to work, we are expanding the options for employees to choose childcare centers that suit their increasingly diverse work styles and lifestyles.
Childcare support system handbooks
Mizuho has created the Handbook for Balancing Childbirth, Childcare and Work explaining our childbirth and childcare support systems in order to encourage employees to make use of these systems, and to support a smooth return to work. A Work–Life Balance Support Handbook has also been created for management to guide their efforts to provide work–life balance support for members of their team.
Seminars on work–life balance and career development
With the aim of supporting the more than 2,000 employees who take childcare leave each year to smoothly return to work, play an active role, and balance their careers and childcare, we hold seminars on balancing childcare (before leave, during childcare leave, and for those returning to work) to raise awareness toward balancing work and childcare as well as career development for women.
For employees expecting a child, we provide pre-leave training to raise awareness of career development after returning to work and provide techniques for balancing work and family responsibilities.
For employees on childcare leave, we provide information on preparations they can make for a smooth transition for establishing a balance of work and childcare after returning to work.
For employees who have returned from childcare leave and are balancing work and childcare responsibilities, we invite outside lecturers to provide training that introduces workstyles that evolve as children grow up and considers medium- to long-term career development that facilitates ongoing growth through work.
In addition, as another means of extending career building support and assistance for employees to achieve a balance between work and childcare obligations, Mizuho has established a system wherein managers will meet with employees prior to their maternity leave, during their leave, and when they return to work, to ensure that supervisors are able to understand each employee's particular situation and needs with regard to achieving a good work–life balance and therefore provide active support.
We also regularly provide e–learning courses and other means of enhancing all employees' understanding of the systems and benefits Mizuho offers, as well as those guaranteed under Japan's Act on Childcare Leave & Caregiver Leave. These courses aim to reduce any hesitation employees may have about using the systems/benefits available, to ensure smoother communication between those using these systems/benefits and their coworkers, and to prevent harassment.
Stay-at-home Father Roundtable
To further encourage active participation by men in childcare, we hosted an online roundtable discussion with five male employees of Group companies who are working at home while raising children. Participants learned of the significance and benefits of taking the initiative in childcare from outside lecturers who discussed and provided commentary on various issues related to balancing work and childcare. The participants also gained a deep understanding and insight from the role models who shared their personal experiences.
Workplace Family Day
Every July and August, Mizuho holds Company Family Days when employees are invited to bring their children and family members into their workplaces. The event provides family members an opportunity to learn more about the employee’s work and to meet and interact with other employees. On the day of the visit, the employee can return home with their family members by taking a half day of vacation or finishing the day working from home, thus providing an opportunity to spend extra time with their children and family members.
Children enjoy the experience of lifting a hundred million yen in cash.
In FY2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we held a virtual Bring Your Child to Work Day. From the comfort of their homes, parents and children were able to watch videos of our group company presidents and CEOs taking turns introducing our Head Office and employees introducing work at branches.
Nurturing the next generation
In order to contribute to the creation of an environment in which the children who will lead and shape the next generation of society may be born and raised in good health, Mizuho is implementing various initiatives related to revising support systems and work styles to be more conducive to achieving a balance between work and family commitments. In 2007, and again in 2010, 2013, and 2015, Mizuho received "Kurumin" certification from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, under the Japanese Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next–Generation Children.
In FY2015, five Mizuho group companies* received Platinum Kurumin certification, an award given to previously–certified Kurumin companies that make significant efforts in implementing and maintaining systems that assist workers in balancing work and childcare.
* Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.; Mizuho Bank, Ltd.; Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.; Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.; and Mizuho Research & Technologies, Ltd.
"General Business Owner Action Plan" (1st Stage) (Japanese Text Only) (PDF/16KB)
"General Business Owner Action Plan" (2nd Stage) (Japanese Text Only) (PDF/16KB)
"General Business Owner Action Plan" (3rd Stage) (Japanese Text Only) (PDF/98KB)
"General Business Owner Action Plan" (4rd Stage) (Japanese Text Only) (PDF/98KB)
"General Business Owner Action Plan" (5th Stage) (Japanese Text Only) (PDF/98KB)
Support for employees caring for aging family members
Mizuho has established a number of systems to support employees balancing work with caring for sick or aging family members. These include family–care leave and shortened or staggered working hours over and above those required by law, as well as seminars aimed at relieving employees' concerns and anxieties about balancing work and family care commitments.
To help employees prepare for the possibility of suddenly and unexpectedly needing to care for a sick or aging family member, Mizuho holds seminars covering the basics of balancing work with family commitments, as well as small group discussions led by employees who have relevant experience.
Family care advisory desk
Mizuho has established an advisory desk staffed by external specialists who can provide advice to employees via email or telephone regarding concerns about caring for sick or aging family members.
Work–life balance support systems
Childbirth and childcare support systems
|Pregnancy support||Up to 1 year||Leave available on application by employee for the purpose of advanced fertility treatment|
|Pre–natal maternity leave||6 weeks before due date||Leave at the request of the pregnant employee|
|Post–natal maternity leave||8 weeks following childbirth||Prohibited from working in principle|
|Childcare time||From birth until age 1||Guaranteed childcare time twice a day (30 minutes × 2)|
|Childcare leave||From birth until age 2||Leave at the request of an employee who gave birth to a child; up to 5 days as paid leave|
|Shortened working hours||From birth until the third grade of elementary school||Available on application by the employee; it is also possible to combine shortened working hours and full–time work.|
|Staggered working hours for childcare purposes||From birth until the third grade of elementary school||Available on application by the employee|
|Exemption from overtime work for childcare purposes||From birth until the third grade of elementary school||Overtime work restrictions or exemption at the request of the employee|
|Parental leave||From 1 month before the due date to 2 months after the due date||An employee whose spouse or same–sex partner is giving birth may apply to take special leave of up to 5 days within the stated period|
|Child illness or injury leave||From birth until the first grade of elementary school (about age 6 in Japan)||Special leave of up to five days per child per year allowed when a child is sick; leave may be taken in hourly units; this leave is separate from annual paid leave|
|Accrued leave||N/A||Annual paid leave which wasn’t taken can be used as accrued leave when an employee’s child is sick.|
|Subsidy for expenses for a home helper, nanny, or babysitter||N/A||Part or all of such expenses are covered by the subsidy.|
|Daycare subsidy||N/A||For employees who want to make an early return to work from maternity/childcare leave, Mizuho will subsidize half or a portion of the cost of daycare|
Childbirth and childcare support systems (Overview)
Caregiver support systems
|Family care leave||Up to 488 work days||Leave of absence granted following application by an employee with a family member requiring regular care.|
|Family member illness or injury leave||5 days per year, per eligible family member, during the period in which the family member requires care||Special leave other than annual paid leave, which can be granted to provide care for a sick or aging family member. Up to 5 days can be taken for each family member needing care. This leave may be taken in hourly units.|
|Accumulated leave for caregiving||Up to 180 days during the period in which the family member requires care||Up to 180 days of unused annual leave can be accumulated and used at a later date to care for a sick or aging family member.|
|Shortened working hours for caregiving purposes||The period during which the family member requires care; no upper limit||Shortened work hours at the request of the employee.
(It is also possible to combine shortened hours and full–time work.)
|Staggered working hours for caregiving purposes||The period during which the family member requires care; no upper limit||Working hours changed at the request of the employee.|
|Exemption from overtime work for caregiving purposes||The period during which the family member requires care; no upper limit||Overtime work restrictions or exemption at the request of the employee.|
|Reduced working days for caregiving purposes||The period during which the family member requires care; no upper limit||A maximum of 2 business days per week set as non–work days.|
|Subsidy for expenses for a home helper or a babysitter||N/A||Part or all of such expenses are covered by the subsidy.|
|Caregiver subsidy||After starting to take family care leave, for the period from the day after the completion of receiving family care benefit payments (a type of public benefit), until the final day of family care leave||An amount equivalent to a certain portion of the employee's salary|
Flexible human resources management to support a good work–life balance
We aim to ensure that our human resources management supports a good work–life balance, for example by reducing the hurdles employees face when balancing their work with childcare or aging family member care.
|Relocation by request||System to request a transfer due to their spouse being relocated.|
|Relocation due to childcare or aging family care||System for employees using childcare support systems or caring for a sick or aging family member to request a transfer to a location closer to their home.|
|Rehiring employees who resigned for family reasons||System for the rehiring (under certain conditions and by request) of former employees who resigned for reasons such as the job relocation of a spouse, childbirth, childcare, or caregiving.|