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A corporate culture that allows both men and women to take maternity leave without hesitation
Japan Custody Bank, Ltd.

 Japan Custody Bank is an asset management bank specializing in custody and administration of securities for banks, investment trust companies, and other customers. The company has been working to encourage male employees to take childcare leave, and the take-up rate has significantly increased from 25% in FY2020 to 66.7% in FY2021. We asked the company about its specific initiatives.

Photo of three members of the Personnel and General Affairs Department of Japan Custody Bank

General Manager of Human Resources & General Affairs Department: Mr. Eizaburo Ichikawa (pictured right)
Ms. Noriko Ogome (center of photo), Director of D&I Promotion, Human Resources & General Affairs Department
D&I Promotion Office, Human Resources & General Affairs Department: Ms. Noriko Kan (left)

Promotion of maternity leave is one of the “SDGs” initiatives


 We view the achievement of the SDGs as an important management issue and are strengthening our efforts toward the SDGs. In addition, we have a mission to fulfill our social responsibility as a financial infrastructure, and our business activities themselves are within the larger framework of pursuing sustainability. We also position the promotion of maternity leave as one of our SDG initiatives, starting from our desire to “provide a comfortable workplace so that our employees can continue to work for us for a long time.

 Since our company is a predominantly female workplace with a 7:3 ratio of female to male employees, we have been actively promoting the use of maternity leave for women. Although the rate of women taking childcare leave reached 100% at an early stage, the rate of men taking leave has been slow to increase. The reasons for this were considered to be the awareness that childcare leave is a “system for women” and the atmosphere in the workplace that makes it difficult for men to take the leave. Therefore, the Human Resources & General Affairs Department started by raising awareness that “maternity leave is a natural right for all employees, regardless of whether they are male or female.

Creating an atmosphere that encourages men to take maternity leave starts with “changing the mindset of superiors.

 There are four particular efforts that we are focusing on to raise awareness.
  The first is “raising the awareness of supervisors. In addition to in-house training for managers, a “Confirmation of Intentions Sheet upon Receipt of a Pregnancy or Childbirth Report” has been created, and a checklist of how to respond to subordinates has been handed out.
 For example, there is a section that says, “When your subordinate reports to you that she is pregnant and giving birth, your first words should be, “‘Congratulations. Although this is essentially basic, supervisors tend to manage their work first and say things like, “When are you going to take a leave of absence? However, supervisors are often the first to manage the business and say things like, “When are you going to take a leave of absence? If a subordinate does not receive a “congratulations,” he or she may feel insecure that his or her pregnancy and childbirth are not welcome, making it more difficult for the subordinate to express his or her wish to take leave.
 If supervisors can encourage their subordinates to use the maternity leave system, the subordinates can use the system without hesitation, and employees around them who hear this exchange will think that it is okay for men to take maternity leave as well. This will create an atmosphere in the workplace.


Intention Confirmation Sheet upon Receipt of Pregnancy and Birth Report


Sharing the voices of system users throughout the company

 In 2021, the Human Resources & General Affairs Department hosted an opinion exchange meeting between male employees who had taken childcare leave and their supervisors to provide real voices of employees who had taken childcare leave to the company. Many positive comments were heard from male employees who had experienced childcare leave, such as “I now understand how hard it is for my wife” and “I feel my child is even more adorable.
 By providing feedback to workplaces, we believe that this has increased awareness of the positive aspects of maternity leave among men and given impetus to the improvement of the take-up rate.

company newsletter

Disseminate through in-house newsletters

Full of useful information on balancing work and childcare! Reduce your anxiety with our guidebook.

 Third, in October 2022, we created the “Guidebook for Supporting Work and Childcare Balance. This booklet provides information on support systems and points to keep in mind for each life event: pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, and returning to work.
 In addition to informing employees about the system, the site also contains wisdom and know-how from senior mothers and fathers, such as preparation from the start of childcare leave until returning to work, and preparations for entering nursery school, which has been well received by employees, who say it is helpful and has reduced their anxiety about taking a long leave of absence and returning to work. For example, there are pages that include a worksheet for thinking about how to work after returning to work and items to discuss with your spouse to balance work and childcare. Particularly popular is the “Time Schedule for Dad and Mom Employees. It helps couples to think about the division of roles and lifestyle planning, as it allows them to visualize what their lives will be like throughout the day after the birth of their child.Guidebook for Supporting Work and Childcare Balance

Guidebook for Supporting Work and Childcare Balance.

Creation of “childcare leave plus leave” to encourage employees to take childcare leave.

 Fourth, our unique maternity and childcare support program, “Maternity Leave Plus Leave,” began in October 2022.

<What is Maternity Leave Plus Leave?
Special leave of up to 5 days for employees taking childcare leave
100% of salary is paid for the period of maternity leave plus vacation.
When childcare is required within 2 months after childcare leave
Split leave is available, and consecutive leave can be taken with childcare leave.


 This is part of our benefit package to encourage employees to take childcare leave for as long as possible and do their best to raise their children. We expect female employees to take advantage of this program when their children are one and a half years old, and male employees to take it to take care of their children when their wives are undergoing medical checkups.


Photo of Mr. Tube and Ms. Korome from Human Resources and General Affairs Department

Pursuing the basic corporate strategy of “valuing employees

 Through these efforts, we feel that the awareness that “it is natural to use maternity leave” is spreading among male employees as well. In the future, we intend to measure the effectiveness of these efforts, make further improvements, and focus on follow-up to help employees return to work.
 Our goal is to have 100% male employees take maternity leave, but we do not force them to do so. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not to use the right. The important thing is not to achieve a 100% take-up rate, but to create a corporate culture in which those who want to use the system can do so without hesitation. By establishing a social culture in which both men and women can work with vigor and enthusiasm, employees will have a sense of fulfillment in their work and will be able to work for the company for a long time.
 A company cannot exist without human capital. We will continue to pursue what we can do to take care of our employees. We will continue to pursue what we can do to value our employees.