Rooted in our basic principle of Respect for the Individual, as part of the Honda Philosophy, Honda seeks to create a healthy working environment so that each and every member of its diverse workforce can make the most of his or her abilities.
Optimizing work hours
Honda has always been an industry leader in introducing shorter workweeks. The company instituted a five-day workweek in alternating weeks in 1970, followed by a true five-day workweek in 1972. Other initiatives enjoyed by associates for more than 30 years include the banning of overtime on Wednesdays and some Fridays and the introduction of a policy encouraging all associates‐both labor and management‐to use their allotted vacation time in full*.
As a result, total working hours averaged 1,900 per associate in 2013, and associates averaged 19.2 paid vacation days, putting Honda at the top level of the automobile industry in terms of reducing actual working hours.
To encourage our associates to take regular annual paid vacations and use their vacation time effectively to refresh themselves and increase motivation, Honda has introduced a system whereby associates are accorded blocks of three to five consecutive paid holidays, depending on their years of continuous service.
*An initiative to prevent vacation days from being lost when the number of annual paid vacation days that can be carried over to the next year is exceeded.
Helping associates balance the demands of work, parenting, and nursing care
Honda works actively to provide programs that help associates balance the demands of work and personal life.
Honda distributes the Guidebook on Balancing Work and Family Life Care Responsibilities, which summarizes the programs available for balancing work, parenting, and nursing care, not only to associates with such responsibilities, but also to management-level associates so that those associates will have a good understanding of available programs and be able to utilize them to maximum effect. This information was placed on the corporate intranet in 2010, making it available to all associates.
Additionally, in 2008, we began offering temporary childcare for preschoolers whose parents had to work on holidays in all worksites. As a result of these initiatives, Honda has been certified as a company that supports child-raising by the Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Furthermore, in April 2014, we introduced a selection-based welfare program giving associates the options of support for nursing care, as well as life events such as childbirth and childcare, including babysitter agent services and childcare item rental. Honda will continue provision of services that allow associates to work with a sense of security.
Honda supports associates by operating a variety of counseling hotlines as a way to build a healthier work environment.
Counseling hotlines dedicated to balancing work, parenting, and family life responsibilities
Honda created a counseling hotline at each worksite's general affairs department in January 2010 in order to accommodate counseling requests from associates striving to balance work and family responsibilities and to promote awareness and utilization of the company's support programs. Each hotline is staffed by a pair of male and female counselors who field counseling requests from both targeted associate groups and supervisors.
Sexual harassment counseling hotline
Honda has operated a sexual harassment counseling hotline for all associates since 1999 in order to prevent sexual harassment and to facilitate the rapid and appropriate resolution of incidents.
Life planning seminar hotline
Honda offers life planning seminars to give associates and their spouses an opportunity to start thinking about life purpose, health, and economic planning so that they will be able to lead a rich and fulfilling life after age 60. In FY2014, we progressively lowered the target age to accommodate an increase in the gap in public pension coverage by offering the seminars for 53-year-old, and 54-year-old regular employees.
In-house seminar instructors and a secretariat offer one-on-one counseling for associates who have participated in the seminar.
Additionally, in April 2014 we started providing individual consultations with financial planners and other consulting services with qualified professionals from outside the company, as part of the selection-based welfare program.