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BP > NIKON's Improvements in the Labor Environment via Responses to the Great East Japan Earthquake

By on September 27, 2012


With the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent planned blackouts, the year ended March 31, 2012 forced us to think about the way we work.

Objectives & Approach:

Immediately after the earthquake, Nikon Group companies in Japan set about confirming the safety of their employees and damage to their houses. In addition, to take care of those employees affected by the earthquake while travelling on business and other employees who found commuting to work difficult due to transportation disruptions, and in response to planned blackouts and restrictions on the use of electricity, we made a number of decisions on our working hours framework, for instance adopting a rotating basis for our operations during the summer months. We also established a new system of special leave for employees participating in reconstruction support activities in affected areas, and we provided assistance to help with transport and accommodation costs.

Furthermore, in response to the planned blackouts, we could not take across-the-board action because each workplace district had a different pattern of blackouts. Furthermore, power supplies were being cut during prescribed working hours, and power outage patterns were only being announced just before they came into effect. For these reasons, we expanded our flexible working arrangements. As for operating on a rotating basis during summer, in order to mitigate the childcare and nursing care costs incurred by workers for whom weekends and national holidays had become prescribed working days, we provided assistance to help cover childcare and nursing care fees. In this way, this was a year when we reviewed the work-life balance.

Every year, Nikon Corporation runs the Working Hours Campaign from autumn through to winter. During the Working Hours Campaign for the year ended March 31, 2012, we surveyed workplace managers, and we reacquainted them with raising awareness for the curtailment of excessive overtime work and with ensuring prior application and prior directives for overtime work. Furthermore, the Personnel Department collected information on difficulties in managing employees’ working hours, and conducted awareness-raising activities on a case-by-case basis for workplace managers found to be in need. In addition, in order to raise awareness for costs, we prepared a simplified chart on meeting costs, and posted it in the meeting rooms at workplaces.

Find out more in Nikon's full sustainability report, attached to this best practice, or accessible @

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