Updated on August 29, 2019

Work-Life Balance and Well-Being

Sony believes that strong revenues are sustained by providing a worker-friendly environment where each employee can perform to their full potential. Under this vision, Sony considers employee health and work-life balance as essential to creating innovation and sustaining strong revenues as a company. Sony offers flexible working provisions and work conditions for employees to realize this work-life balance, while adhering to the customs and laws in countries and regions where it does business.

Main Work-Life Balance Initiatives at the Sony Group around the World

Movie Business
Some group companies provide services and take other steps designed to promote employee health, such as offering on-site fitness facilities and dental clinic, and holding in-house sports competitions.
Music Business
In order to support the work-life balance of parents, group companies in the USA and UK have adopted policies to extend the parenting leave if an employee or their spouse gives birth prematurely. Additionally, group companies assist breastfeeding mothers by contracting with an external service that ships breast milk home when employees are away on business.
Electronics Business
(Sony Corporation of America)
Sony Corporation of America provides employees with access to the Backup Care program, a network of high quality childcare centers and in-home care providers to respond to various life stage changes.
Electronics Business (Japan) Some group companies provide a private area for nursing mothers, emergency child care and other services for employees who are raising and/or expecting children. There are also child-raising support programs that aim to build communities of employees who are parents to facilitate the sharing of information on such topics as children's education.
Sony Group (Japan, China, USA) On annual family day, family members are invited to see and get to know where employees work. In the USA, Sony Electronics locations offer Take Your Kid to Work Day to promote business and technology education.
Financial Services (Japan) Group companies are adopting provisions for working from home and remote work, as well as extending the eligibility to more employees. Some group companies permit employees to primarily work from home.

Each employee of the Sony Group plays a part in the sustainable growth of the company. As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Sony has an important responsibility to create inclusive workplaces with attractive working conditions, and to encourage ways of working that enable employees to make the most of their talents while balancing their work and private life, including parenting and family commitments. Sony recognizes the need to accommodate diverse ways of working to secure the health and motivation of employees.

Since 2017, Sony Group companies in Japan in the electronics business have been implementing a work-style reform project that is furthering existing initiatives such as a day for leaving work at the prescribed time and encouraging employees to take their paid leave. Meanwhile, the Sony Group worldwide is sharing and adopting best practices such as business process improvements and techniques for making meetings effective.

In Japan, Sony Corporation has introduced a flex-time system and a discretionary working system, which enables employees to work with versatile options. Sony employees regularly use a high percentage of their allotted annual paid days off. In fiscal 2018, employees of Sony Corporation took an average of 15.9 days off and employees of the Sony Group in Japan took an average of 15.1 days off, compared with the national average of 11.2 days off at other companies.

Flexible Work Options for Diverse Lifestyles

The Sony Group in Japan offers human resources programs that enable employees to make the most of their talents within their preferred lifestyles.

In 2015, Sony Corporation began offering a Flexible Career Leave program that enables employees to take up to five years off to pursue studies or work on upgrading their language or communication skills, when accompanying a spouse who has been assigned abroad or embarks on international studies or take up to two years off to pursue studies at their own expense to further develop their expertise.

In 2018, Sony Corporation expanded the scope of its Telework policy by making all employees eligible. At the same time, it also broadened the condition to allow up to ten full telecommuting days per month and in principle removed restrictions on the number of partial telecommuting days that employees can take. Accordingly, it was renamed the Flexible Work policy. The company will continue to expand programs to provide employees with flexible and efficient work options, with the aims of enhancing the business efficiency of its organizations, fostering an organizational culture that generates ideas, and increasing the productivity and output of each employee.

Supporting Employees Doing Child Care or Nursing Care

Under a work-life balance initiative, the Sony Group in Japan provides paid leave programs which can be used along with Child Care Leave such as Child Care Paid Leave (up to 20 days) and Accumulated Leave used for pregnancy, childbirth, child rearing, fertility treatment, and nursing care purpose. These programs are widely used by employees.
For employees who have child care or nursing care responsibilities, Sony provides support by offering the option of reduced working hours and take paid annual leave on an hourly basis for child care or nursing care.

In fiscal 2017, Sony Corporation introduced a Career Plus program that supports career development while employees take parenting or nursing leave, by enabling employees to keep doing some work from home and also by subsidizing development programs such as language courses. The program provides greater flexibility for employees to continue their career development.

Percentage of Employees Using Child Care Programs at Sony Group in Japan in Fiscal 2018*1

Employees who took child care leave (leave of absence)   55.7% 26.2%
  Men 7.1% 5.8%
  Women 100.0% 88.6%
Employees who took child care paid leave   39.2% 53.5%
  Men 44.7% 71.0%
  Women 0.0% 0.2%
Employees using reduced working hours for child care   3.1% 26.9%
  Men 0.0% 2.0%
  Women 25.0% 102.5%
Employees who returned to work after childcare leave   100.0% 95.7%
  Men 100.0% 100.0%
  Women 100.0% 95.2%
  • *1Percentage of employees who used the programs in FY2018 among employees who with newborns in FY2017

Work-Life Balance Policies at Sony Corporation

Policies Introduced
Child Care Leave 1990
  • Up through April 15 of the year following the date on which the child reaches 1 year of age
  • • Can be used in combination with Child Care Paid Leave when child reaches 8 weeks of age (for men)
Reduced Working Hours for Child Care 1995
  • Until the child is sixth grade of elementary school
  • Flex-time system can also be used during period of reduced working hours for child care
Child Care Grant 2007
  • Grant of 50,000 yen/month during period of Child Care Leave
Child Care Paid Leave 2007
  • Provides for 20 days' paid leave
  • Can be used in combination with Child Care Leave when child reaches 8 weeks of age
Flexible Work (formerly called Telework) 2008
  • All employees eligible to work from home, a satellite office or elsewhere remotely
  • Up to 10 full telecommuting days, no restrictions on number of partial telecommuting days
Use of Paid Annual Leave 2008
  • Can be used on an hourly basis, for child rearing or providing nursing care for a family member
Child Care Flex-Time 2013
  • Can be used until the child has graduated from elementary school
Babysitter / Child Care Subsidy 2015
  • Until the child is third grade of elementary school
  • Babysitter / child care fee subsidy
  • Number of times eligible and amount of subsidy increased in 2017
Career Plus Leave 2017
  • Support continued career development by employees during child care leave, nursing care leave or flexible career leave (to accompany spouse)
  • Allow some work from home while on leave
  • Offer subsidies for education expenses while on leave

Promoting Work-Life Balance

In addition to establishing programs that promote work-life balance, the Sony Group in Japan strives to create a corporate culture in which employees seeking to balance the demands of child care (or nursing care) and work can build careers. Sony conducts seminars for employees who will be taking maternity leave, and their managers also attend. At these seminars, employees gain knowledge and information that will be useful during leave, review their career so far, and start career planning for their return. In addition, Sony conducts seminars for men in the workforce who are considering taking parental leave, to inform them about the various provisions available to them including paid and unpaid leave. The seminars include a Q&A with colleagues who have taken parental leave.

Starting in 2018, Sony established a tie-up with a daycare provider to assist employees of Sony Group companies in Japan in the electronics business who find it difficult to secure a daycare for their children and return to work. The tie-up enables the use of corporate-led daycare facilities*1 throughout Japan. Sony also conducted a seminar on nursing, responding to the growing number of interested people. The seminar explored strategies for balancing nursing and work, while providing essential information about nursing. Through these initiatives, Sony is helping employees to continue developing their careers while balancing it with parenting and nursing.

  • *1Under amendments to Japan’s Child and Child Care Support Act, which came into effect in April 2016, the Cabinet Office of Japan introduced provisions to allow for corporate-led daycare facilities in an effort to address shortages of and wait lists for daycare facilities, so that parents can work. The provisions enable corporations to organize the establishment and operation of daycare facilities.
Seminar about parenting leave for men
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