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Human Resources

UBE Group Human Resources Management Guidelines

The UBE Group has issued these human resources management guidelines in order to enhance its corporate value and maximize the well-being of employees.

These guidelines present the shared values the UBE Group practices in human resources management. While group companies have their respective rules, customs, and personnel provisions, these guidelines outline the Group’s universal approach to human resources management and apply to all group companies worldwide.

  1. Value the diversity of our human resources and respect each person’s individuality.
  2. Keep employees' motivation high by encouraging their creativity and autonomy.
  3. Provide many opportunities for all employees to develop themselves based on their own professionalism.
  4. Pursue fair evaluation and remuneration.
  5. Be receptive to diverse work styles, maintain good working environment, and further improve the working environment.

Personnel System

The UBE Group pursues performance driven by the principles of autonomy and self-responsibility. This stems from our founding philosophy, which inspires us to continually generate technological innovation and promote self-transformation in response to changes in the environment. We have adopted a human resource system that clarifies the expected roles for employees. It also objectively evaluates their performance so that each individual can maintain an awareness of their mission and issues for improvement, ultimately resulting in a sense of job satisfaction.

During fiscal 2019 and 2020, we revised the HR system for each job grade in order to increase the motivation to achieve targets, and in order to promote human resource development. Along with reducing personal allowances, we have adopted an evaluation and qualification system that further emphasizes employee performance. Employee motivation is further enhanced through greater opportunities for promotion and salary increases. Finally, we will improve our human resource development capabilities by introducing a system to better compensate managers who demonstrate enthusiasm and implement initiatives for guiding and training their subordinates and younger employees.

personnel system

Human Resources Development

At UBE, we provide on-the-job training, workshops and other off-the-job training, and self-improvement support programs with systems that empower our employees to perform at their best in an array of businesses and in an increasingly global operating climate.

A good example of our approach is the Career Development Sheets that employees prepare every year, based on which they can discuss areas in which they should enhance their skills and their prospects with supervisors. We rotate employees in keeping with their aptitude to broaden their perspectives and expertise. For workshops and other off-the-job training, we keep pace with changes in the operating climate by providing employee training programs that reflect skills required for each job level. We offer a range of programs that help employees enhance their capabilities, such as distance learning and in-house and external language courses.

We foster employee retention by bolstering career development. We are particularly determined to retain young employees, and are cultivating them as tomorrow’s leaders at the UBE Group by helping them to experience their own growth and find satisfaction in their work.

Some training was canceled in fiscal 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, by adjusting the content and switching to online training, we were able to achieve the same results as with the conventional group training.

Training System Overview

Training System Overview

Main Training Participation (FY2020)

Scope Number of participants Average training time per participant (hours)
Level-Based Training
Management training Cancelled*
Basic management training UBE Group 75 18
Generalist training UBE 197 16.9
Key employee training UBE 223 15.7
Theme-based training
Elder training UBE 39 7
Refresher courses UBE 130 6.5
Global training program
Cultural sensitivity training UBE 21 7
Global business leader training program Cancelled*
Overseas MBA programs Postponed*
Group company new executive training Cancelled*

*In fiscal 2020, some training was postponed or canceled due to the pandemic.

Enhancing Global Human Resources Development

The UBE Group actively works to develop human resources that can contribute to its growing international business in various domains. The key points of the strategy are to: (1) foster global business leaders, (2) increase the opportunities for gaining international experience, (3) enhance cross-cultural capabilities, and (4) improve language capabilities.

Additionally, Group companies in Japan actively pursue exchanges with personnel from international Group companies, through initiatives such as joint training and mutual exchanges of young employees as trainees. These initiatives give employees actual experience working in other countries and foster a global mindset.

*In fiscal 2020, joint training and trainee dispatch was canceled due to the pandemic.

Diversity

Basic Views

Diversity is a key policy priority. The UBE Group accordingly seeks to build a corporate culture that respects individuality and broad perspectives and treasures creativity and ambition.

UBE has operated a diversity group within the Personnel Department since October 2013, to promote diversity in human resources and work-styles.

Diversity in Human Resources

At the UBE Group, we strive to provide stable employment for diverse human resources, regardless of differences in gender, nationality, ethnicity, race, disability, health status, age, social status, family situation, religion, beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, employment status, etc.

We recruit and hire people with diverse abilities, and we also increase employee engagement by promoting direct communication between the management and employees, for instance by holding sessions for employees to share their opinions with senior management as well as meetings between top management and labor representatives. In this way, the Group aims to create workplaces where every employee can demonstrate their abilities and work with a sense of satisfaction and motivation.

At UBE, we endeavor to attract and retain diverse talent as part of efforts to overcome the looming challenges of a declining labor force and a changing business climate.

We recruit people with diverse talents regardless of career background, nationality, or gender. The management team engages closely with employees, including through meetings to exchange opinions and through labor–management council gatherings. We endeavor to create workplaces in which employees can fulfill their potential by performing great and satisfying work.

Employee Data (as of March 31, 2021)

  Number of Employees In which, Number of Managers Average Age Average Years of Service
Male 3,038 91.6% 825 97.2% 41.8 16.2
Female 280 8.4% 24 2.8% 39.8 14.2
Total or Average 3,318 100.0% 849 100.0% 41.7 16.0

Hiring Breakdown

(Number of employees)
Fiscal Year 2018 2019 2020
New graduate hires (Generalist positions) 37 (9) 47 (8) 58 (14)
New graduate hires (Key employee positions) 30 (2) 56 (8) 69 (10)
Mid-career hires 57 (3) 64 (7) 34 (1)
Hires with disabilities 2 (0) 3 (2) 1 (0)
Hires of non-Japanese nationals 1 (1) 1 (0) 1 (0)

Figures in parentheses indicate the number of women hired, including full-time employee appointments

Addressing the Gender Gap

As of the end of March 2021, women made up 8.4% of all employees (8.1% in the previous year) and 2.8% of managers (2.6% in the previous year). We have created an action plan based on Japan's Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, and are working to create an organization where women can play a more active role. Our three-year plan implemented in fiscal 2019 sets out the following three goals.

  1. A paid leave usage rate of 80% or more
  2. At least 70% of eligible men taking childcare leave
  3. An average rate of 20% or more women among new graduate hires for generalist positions over the period of the plan

Through the initiatives to date, job areas open to women have expanded, and women are becoming leaders in various workplaces. Most women have been returning to work after giving birth and taking childcare leave, and each year the number of employees who balance childcare and work responsibilities is increasing.

New Initiatives Starting Fiscal 2021

Due to the continuing shortage of women in company executive positions, we conducted a questionnaire survey of women in the workforce. The results were used to devise the following Voluntary Action Plan to Promote Women to Executive and Managerial Positions. In addition to the initiatives already implemented, we will enhance the Female Executive Development Program. This includes measures such as individual career development interviews by the Personnel Department, planned job rotation, and discussion meetings with senior management. This is expected to accelerate the promotion of women to officer and executive positions.

Voluntary Action Plan to Promote Women to Executive and Managerial Positions

Diversity and inclusion underpins our management policies. We are striving to enhance work practice flexibility to cater to diverse personalities and values and hire more women, and offer them more opportunities to play active roles in our organization.

We formulated the following action plan to increase the proportion of female managers to 15% by the end of fiscal 2030.

  • Appoint women to more than 30% of new graduate career-track positions
  • Implement various measures to foster women’s career advancement
  • Provide unconscious bias training
  • Create climate that empowers women to expand their job scopes
  • Bolster support programs for childbirth, childcare, nursing care, and other life events and make those programs easily accessible for all female and male employees alike
  • Eliminate long working hours

Employing Non-Japanese Nationals

To harness expertise from different values and cultures, UBE revised the global business leader program to include local training in Japan, Thailand, and Spain, and have expanded personnel exchanges with employees of the UBE Group companies outside Japan. (To help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, we have switched to online training in recent years, and will continue to utilize it.)

Additionally, every year the Company hires foreign nationals to work in Japan, and actively pursues personnel exchanges including accepting personnel from international Group companies.

Rehiring Retirees

The Company provides special training for employees who reach the standard retirement age of 60, allowing them to continue working in various workplaces in and outside the Group. The aim is to enable them to retain job security by making continued use of their accumulated work expertise and skills.

In fiscal 2020, 96.8% of UBE employees who reached the standard retirement age were rehired and are now deployed throughout the UBE Group.

Employment of People with Disabilities

At the UBE Group, we do much to foster the employment of people with disabilities, and maintain the UBE Group Support Network for Employment of People with Disabilities. We draw on the accumulated knowhow of Libertas Ube, Ltd., a special-purpose subsidiary that we established in 1991, to hire these individuals and create workplaces for them Group-wide.

Libertas Co., Ltd. also works to promote employment and improve the welfare of people with disabilities in partnership with the community in its hometown of Ube City as a core member of the Support Network for Employment for People with Disabilities Conference, which is composed of local governments, support organizations, schools, and corporations, as well the Corporate Subcommittee, which is a subordinate organization.

Percentage of Employees with Disabilities Percentage of Employees with Disabilities

Reforming Work Styles

Basic Views

In order to foster more efficient work styles, the Group is reviewing its operations from various perspectives, including the use of information and communications technology. The Group is also developing systems and environments that facilitate flexible work styles.

The UBE Group has been able to improve productivity by making thorough use of telework and online video-conferencing, as a measure to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the Group will continue to actively promote the use of these tools.

Moreover, each year labor and management agree on annual targets for total actual working hours per employee. Monthly progress is managed by monitoring the status of overtime work and annual paid leave utilization. In fiscal 2020, in addition to the large-scale repairs of factory equipment that are performed every other year, the work load temporarily increased due to the pandemic. With the reduced efficiency also caused by the pandemic, total actual working hours increased and the annual leave utilization rate fell. For fiscal 2021, labor and management have set a target of 1,936 for the total actual annual working hours per employee. The aim is to create workplaces where work-life balance can always be maintained.

Paid Leave and Overtime Hours at UBE

Fiscal Year Unit 2018 2019 2020 FY2025 Target
Ratio of annual paid leave taken % 78.2 81.3 66.5 100
Overtime (annual average) Hours per person 194 199 171
Total hours worked Hours per person 1,980 1,949 1,955 1,900 or less

Work-Life Balance

By actively adopting new programs to help employees balance their work and childcare or family care responsibilities, UBE has enabled flexible work styles and created more supportive workplaces.

UBE is working to improve systems to allow employees, regardless of gender, to continue working in ways that make sense for them at various stages of their lives and to create a climate that ensures that employees are able to take advantage of such systems.

The Company endeavors to create an environment that makes it easier for employees to take parenting leave, nursing care leave or reduced working hours, depending on their individual situation.

Furthermore, based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children, UBE has developed an action plan to help ensure an employment environment that allows employees to use their abilities to the fullest while both working and raising children. In addition to making some childcare leave paid, the Company encourages male employees to take a greater role in parenting. UBE was awarded a Kurumin certification signifying its support for child-rearing. Under the three-year action plan launched in fiscal 2019, the Company is working toward the following two goals: 1) implement measures to encourage work-style reforms and 2) expand social contribution programs related to raising the next generation.

In recent years, an increasing number of employees have left the Company after only a short term, especially those in key positions. The problem may lie in a discrepancy between employee expectations before joining the company and the actual work content, as well as in the individual follow-up provided to new hires. The Company is working to decrease employee turnover by providing better information to applicants for key positions. The Company is also expanding the "elder system," under which senior employees provide work guidance and counsel to new employees after they join the company.

Image: The “Kurumin” Next-Generation Certification Logo The “Kurumin” Next-Generation Certification Logo

Leave for Volunteer Activities

In order to make it easier for employees to participate as volunteers in social and community initiatives, UBE’s employees can use their accumulated leave to participate in volunteer activities.

Main Work-Life Balance System

  System Description
  Maternity leave *1 Up to six weeks prenatal and eight weeks postpartum
Childcare leave Leave can be taken until the day before the child’s first birthday (or the child’s second birthday, in certain circumstances). The first seven days of leave are fully paid.
Childbirth leave *2 Employees whose spouses have given birth can take four days of paid leave.
Shortened working time The working hours of employees caring for children in elementary school or younger, nursing family members, seeing a doctor, and going to school can be shortened by up to two hours per day on request.
Child nursing leave Employees can take leave on an hourly basis to nurse children in the third grade of elementary school or younger. (Five days per child can be taken each year, up to a maximum of 10 days a year for two or more children.)
Family nursing leave Employees can take leave to provide nursing care for family members (up to a total of 365 days).
Family nursing short leave Employees can take leave on an hourly basis to provide nursing care for family members (up to a maximum of 5 days a year for one family member, 10 days a year for two or more family members).
  Half-day annual paid leave Employees can take paid leave in half-day units
Hourly annual paid leave Employees can take paid leave in hourly units (up to 40 hours annually)
Flexible working hours Eligible for all employees except shift workers (no core time)
Accumulated leave Employees can accumulate up to 40 days of annual paid leave and use it to take time off for sickness/medical treatment, caregiving, fertility treatment, social and community contribution activities, etc.
Telework Employees can work from home as a means to improve work-life balance, raise productivity, and prepare BCPs.
Career restart Gives employees the option to resume their careers if they have to quit for reasons out of their control, such as marriage, giving birth, parenting, caregiving or spouse’s job transfer

*1 Only available for female employees
*2 Only available for male employees

Quality Working Environment

Labor Union Relations

The UBE Group respects the basic rights of workers, including the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

At UBE, we have concluded an agreement with the UBE Labor Union that encompasses worker rights. Management engages in negotiations and regular discussions with labor representatives to improve living standards and working conditions for union members and provide comfortable work environments. We endeavor to maintain and enhance healthy relationships between management and labor by having senior executives participate in conference sessions with labor to exchange and honestly discuss views about the Company’s issues and direction and share management policies and plans with union members while reflecting their feedback in management.

Office and Plant Tours for Families

UBE Group companies give office and plant tours to the families of employees, so that they can see where their family member works and the conditions they regularly work under as well as the way they spend their time. This initiative is aimed at facilitating communication within families and increasing employee motivation.

*Canceled in fiscal 2020 due to the pandemic.

Occupational Safety and Health

ESG Rating

UBE has been working to improve its evaluation as part of the FTSE ESG Index, while actively promoting information disclosure. As a result, the evaluation has greatly improved not only in terms of the overall rating, but also in terms of the social issue management score, which is closely related to human resource efforts.

Our overall rating:2.7 (2019)→2.9 (2020)→3.5 (2021)⤴
Social issue management score: 2.5 (2019)→2.5 (2020)→3.5 (2021)⤴

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