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Mazda Expands Measures to Improve Employee Work-Life Balance

- Introduces 10 measures for a more flexible personnel system that supports a better balance between child & family care and work -

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HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that it will progressively implement 10 policies to enhance its employees’ work-life balance starting on August 11, 2008. The enriched personnel system offers more flexibility through measures to address the balance between an employee’s work and childcare and/or care for family members. These measures will enable Mazda to actively support the development of its employees’ careers.


Mazda has long been among the leading companies in Japan for policies that promote a healthy work-life balance and the effective utilization of female employees. The company abolished the “clerical staff” and “career staff” job classifications in 1999. In 2000, Mazda introduced the “super-flextime” system, which allows employees to plan and manage their working time without fixed office hours. In 2002, Mazda set up the industry-first “Waku-Waku Kids En” in-house daycare center, available to employees with pre-school aged children. This was followed in 2003 by the introduction of nursing leave which far exceeds legal requirements.


Due to policies such as these, Mazda was recognized as a “Family Friendly Company” when it won Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare’s “Excellence Award” for its work-life balance system in 2003. This award acknowledged the various efforts Mazda had made to encourage a flexible approach which allowed employees to choose working styles which suited them most. Furthermore, in 2007, Mazda was awarded the “Kurumin” certification mark in affirmation of its action plan for childrearing support initiatives, based on the Japanese government’s Law to Promote Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation. These awards are among many positive evaluations from government authorities recognizing Mazda’s human resources initiatives.


Mazda believes that employees – male or female – who are caring for children or family members would like the option of continuing their careers without compromise, and that the opportunity to continue their personal growth adds to the competitiveness of the company. By newly introducing these 10 measures, Mazda endeavors to create a positive working environment which supports each employee’s personal growth so they can reach their full potential.


“These expanded work-life balance policies will enhance working conditions and further address the broad range of Mazda employees’ needs. Going forward, Mazda will continue its ‘mutual learning’ staff training efforts which deepen a shared awareness and understanding among our staff. This will help us realize a vibrant and diverse organization where employees in different positions in the company and at various life stages will be able to follow long-term career paths,” said Mazda’s Executive Officer and General Manager in charge of Human Resources, Minoru Mitsuda.


Outline of the work-life balance policies introduced

Policy Description Date of introduction
Childcare / family care
Maternity protection leave New Holidays available to pregnant employees who feel ill. August 11, 2008
Childcare leave Improved Five consecutive working day holidays are available (both male and female employees) until a child turns one year old. August 11, 2008
Child rearing leave Improved Extension of leave period available until an employee’s child turns three years old. (Previously, the policy covered children up to one year old, and one-and-a-half years old in some cases). The leave period can be divided. August 11, 2008
Special working hours granted for childcare Improved The current applicable period (to the second grade of elementary school) has been extended through to graduation from elementary school. August 11, 2008
Reemployment system New Provides an opportunity for former employees who left the company due to marriage, childcare, or family care reasons to return the company. August 11, 2008
Telecommuting system New Introduces a work at home option for a more flexible working style for employees who are taking care of children and family at home. (Up to 25% of regular monthly working hours.) August 11, 2008
Heartful holiday system Improved Leave time is available for family-related nursing care, volunteer activities, children’s school events and fertility treatments. August 11, 2008
Bring your family to work day New Provides the opportunity for employees to invite his or her family members to the workplace so that they can deepen their understanding of his or her work. After August 2008
Female employee networking New Provides female employees with networking opportunities to communicate and exchange information with each other to energize their work. After October 2008
Career design workshops New Supports female employees in creating a long-term career plan. After October 2008