Human Capital

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.

Talent Strategy for Becoming a Specialty Chemicals Company

We have formulated a five-level talent strategy to undertake initiatives that drive our transformation intoa company focusing on specialty chemicals. We are accordingly recruiting and training talent under our current medium-term management plan, which corresponds to Level 2.

Priority Measures of the medium-term management plan and Progress

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

UBE is expanding its investment in human capital development and is working to develop human capital for growth and innovation.

In order to develop human resources who can work in a diverse business and globalised environment, the following approaches have been strengthened.

  1. OJT (on-the-job training)
  2. OFF-JT (off-the-job training: group training, etc.)
  3. Self-development support system

Through these approaches, UBE is actively working to develop human resources so that each and every employee can fully demonstrate his or her abilities through work.

We are enhancing investments in people to cultivate talent that can achieve growth and drive innovation. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we prioritized enhancing internal communication by providing some in-person training to augment largely online sessions to boost efficiency and optimize effectiveness. We draw on external e-learning services for job level-specific training to foster a culture in which employees keep growing by taking ownership of career development.

Training System Overview

Training System Overview

* Technical employees and administrative employees

Increasing Job Satisfaction

Our efforts thus far have resulted in positive work environments. We will undertake initiatives that improve job satisfaction and work engagement. We maintain a setup in which employees prepare annual career development sheets to explore career plans through interviews with supervisors. We offer employees opportunities to transfer internally to other positions and pursue new career paths. In April 2023, we set up an in-house career consultation office that enables employees to shape their own careers with assistance from consultants. We also train managers in improving their interviewing skills and organizational work engagement.

Work Engagement

UBE uses index of the new Brief Job Stress Questionnaire that companies around Japan administer to employees to gauge work engagement levels and trends. We will improve work engagement and strengthen the organization. We will do so by creating a structure that enables managers to track circumstances at each workplace. We will also create opportunities for growth through education and provide interactive positive mental health training in collaboration with external employee assistance programs to motivate workers.

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.

We are also actively promoting personnel exchanges with members of the UBE Group outside Japan. Through joint training, we are improving leadership and project promotion skills and developing employees with a global mindset.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Basic Views

Because we aim to become a specialty chemicals company, we know that we have to integrate diverse technologies, expertise, and perspectives to foster innovation so we can overhaul our corporate culture and drive that transformation. We are accordingly fostering gender equality, stepping up recruiting of talented individuals who can hit the ground running, and improving job satisfaction by reviewing our work structure for senior employees. We are also broadening career opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We conduct surveys and enhance opportunities for dialogues to better understand the needs of individuals while expanding our support programs. This is because we prioritize equity and want our people to flourish. We consider it important for managers to be more inclusive leaders so diverse employees can harness their talents and do well. We thus train managers to enhance their career interview skills, better understand work–life balance programs, and ensure psychological safety in workplaces.

UBE has operated a dedicated group for promoting diversity initiatives within the Personnel Department since October 2013, and appointed a diversity promotion leader at each business location in 2022 to promote diversity in human resources and work-styles. We also provide management members with unconscious bias training, and regularly set up forums to discuss diversity in the Strategic Management Meeting and other bodies, where top management is involved in sending out regular communications and overseeing and promoting initiatives.

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.

Employee Data (as of March 31, 2023)

  Number of Employees In which, Number of Managers Average Age Average Years of Service
Male 1,972 89.7% 535 95.9% 42.9 15.6
Female 222 10.3% 23 4.1% 40.5 13.1
Total or Average 2,194 100.0% 558 100.0% 42.7 15.4

Providing Greater Opportunities for Women

We are aiming to attain gender equality, which is atop priority, by setting targets for the percentages of women in management positions and in our workforce. We encourage female employees to be involved in decision-making by increasing the number of female line managers and to take part in recruiting and promotion interviews to reflect diverse perspectives. We recognize that women tend to undertake more unpaid work to care for their families, which impedes their career advancement. We thus provide e-learning about unconscious bias and endeavor to cut total working hours while expanding work–life support programs for all employees. We additionally encourage men to take parental leave.

Shortages of women with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills are a social issue. We strive to increase the number of female employees with such proficiency by collaborating with educational institutions and neighboring businesses. One initiative in which we take part in this regard is a Yamaguchi University consortium to accelerate diversity.

We formulated an action plan based on the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace to enhance work environments for women.

Formulated General Business Owner Action Plan for Fiscal 2022 through Fiscal 2024

Based the plan on the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace and the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children

In keeping with the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, we set the following three goals under a three-year plan starting in fiscal 2022 (Parent company).

  1. Have women account for 10% or more and 5% or more of our employees and managers, respectively, by the end of March 2025.
  2. Boost the percentage of female new graduates hired for generalist positions to an average of 30% or more during the plan period.
  3. Increase the percentage of male employees taking childcare leave during the plan period to 70% or more, with the average leave taken exceeding 15 days.

Voluntary Action Plan to Promote Women to Executive and Managerial Positions

Diversity, equity 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

Recruiting Specialists

We have committed to hiring diverse people to become a specialty chemicals company that contributes to people’s lives and health and an enriched future society. We systematically hire new graduates and experienced individuals while recruiting non-Japanese nationals. In fiscal 2022, mid-career professionals accounted for 37.3% of hires for generalist positions in Japan on a consolidated basis. This resulted from efforts to strengthen timely recruiting and secure specialists with immediately deployable capabilities in line with our business strategies. We doubled our target percentage for mid-career generalist hires to at least 50% for fiscal 2024 under our medium-term management plan. We will keep recruiting specialists.

Hiring Breakdown

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.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Overseas Subsidiaries

UBE Corporation Europe, S.A. Unipersonal (UCE)

  • On March 8, International Women’s Day, we organized an open webinar about “Equality, the new normal.” Approximately 100 people participated in this event and we interviewed the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Castellon and local companies’ executives.
  • Signed the second Equality Plan for the next four years with the worker’s committee at UCE
  • Signed the first Equality Plan for the next four years with the worker’s committee at Repol S.L.U.
  • Payroll audit with equality perspective
  • More flexibility in the working hours either men or women fostering the co-responsibility in the community

UBE Group (Thailand) (UGT)

  • In fiscal 2021, UGT hired 28 employees, eight of whom were women.
  • In fiscal 2021, women accounted for roughly 40% of promotions in managerial and non-managerial positions.
  • Pushed ahead with a hybrid work model to achieve work–life balance.
    Conducted employee satisfaction surveys and one-on-one interviews that focused on progress with working from home.
    In Bangkok, downsized office and renovated it as a coworking and team meeting space.

Rehiring Retirees

UBE provides career and life planning training for employees to help them continue working in various workplaces in and outside the Group after reaching the standard retirement age of 60. The aim is to enable them to retain job security by making continued use of their accumulated work expertise and skills.

In fiscal 2022, Questionnaire survey for senior employees and Discussions with the senior managing executive officer in charge of human resources and the head of the Human Resources Department were conducted. In order to create a workplace environment in which senior employees can play a more active role, it was decided that "a system in which the individual and the workplace share a common understanding of the expected role, have responsibility and discretion commensurate with their position, and can work in a rewarding manner" was necessary. Based on these results, we took the following measures in fiscal 2023.

  • Interviews on career and working styles.
  • Clarification of expected roles and Interviews about their goals at work.

In fiscal 2022, 93.5% of UBE employees who reached the standard retirement age were rehired and are now deployed throughout the UBE Group.

Employment of People with Disabilities

The UBE Group has employed such individuals since establishing a special-purpose subsidiary for them in 1991. A team specializing in dealing with people with disabilities creates a supportive environment by collaborating with local support bodies to assist with everything from recruiting to job placements. That subsidiary matches tasks and individual and discusses and constantly fosters progress by evaluating career development. A parallel endeavor is to broaden job opportunities through special purpose subsidiaries and agricultural jobs. We will continue to practice social inclusion and empower people to showcase their skills and get fulfillment through their work.

Engaging with Employees

Management engages closely with employees as key stakeholders. We survey them to identify areas in which we need to attain equity, provide feedback, and reflect swiftly findings in our measures. Management and employees also engage in direct dialogue to exchange views about UBE’s goals and deepen mutual understanding. We discuss human resources strategy issues that come to light by the survey and dialogues in meetings of the Board of Directors, the Strategic Management Meeting, and the Executive Management Workshop. We also share them in labor-management meetings to foster cooperation between both parties.

Diverse, Flexible, and Efficient Work Practices

Basic Views

We maintain a work and vacation structure that encourages diverse work practices. We are progressing steadily in cutting total working hours, targeting 1,900 hours per person in fiscal 2025. For fiscal 2023, labor and management agreed to a target of 1,915 hours. We share monthly results with all employees as part of our efforts.

Paid Leave and Overtime Hours at UBE

Fiscal Year Unit 2020 2021 2022 FY2025 Target
Ratio of annual paid leave taken % 66.5 79.3 85.5 100
Overtime (annual average) Hours per person 181 181 202
Total hours worked Hours per person 1,973 1,946 1,916 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.

In October 2022, we published a handbook to help employees balance their professional and personal commitments. It presents support programs for balancing work with childbirth, childcare, nursing care, and medical treatment. It provides user-friendly information on these programs. We foster understanding among supervisors and peers by providing training for managers and opportunities for safety and health committee lectures.

In April 2023, we rolled out a program that allows employees to take leave for personal injury or illness, nursing care, childcare, volunteer work, infertility treatment, personal and family anniversaries, and life events. Workers can use the program as a safety net when life’s emergencies arise, making it easier for them to take annual paid leave.

We foster flexible and efficient work practices by maintaining our telework and flexible work-hour programs. The downside is that communication issues have arisen owing in part to the pandemic. We are accordingly striving to create work environments that enhance productivity while ensuring the psychological safety of employees by encouraging them to come to our work sites at least twice weekly and use cameras during online meetings.

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.

Under the three-year action plan launched in fiscal 2022, UBE is working toward the following three goals:

  1. implementation of measures to support balance between work and family life,
  2. implementation of measures to encourage work-style reforms, and
  3. expansion of social contribution programs related to raising the next generation.

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 third birthday, in certain circumstances). The first fifteen days of leave are fully paid (total with childcare leave at childbirth and childcare leave).
Childcare leave at childbirth Employees can take four weeks of childcare leave within eight weeks of the birth of a child; four weeks may be divided into two.
Childbirth leave *2 Employees whose spouses have given birth can take four days of paid leave.
Childcare assistance allowance 20,000 yen/month per child for employees who are raising a child under 3 years old
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.
Flexible working hours Eligible for all employees except shift workers (no core time)
Shorted/flexible work hours Employees can use the shortened working time and flexible working hours systems together.
Child nursing leave Employees can take leave on an hourly basis to nurse children in the sixth 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)
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, volunteer activities, etc.
Life support leave Employees to take leave for personal injury or illness, nursing care, childcare, volunteer work, infertility treatment, personal and family anniversaries, and life events. (5 days are granted each year and can be accumulated up to a maximum of 40 days.)
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 Available for female employees
*2 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.

Occupational Safety and Health

ESG Rating

Society (PDF:254KB)