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Open corporate culture with a 100% male childcare leave utilization rate
Kosol Corporation

 As a result of its efforts to promote male parental leave, IT company Corsol won the Grand Prix in the Ikumen Company Award 2019 sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2019, and achieved a 100% male parental leave rate by 2021.
 We asked Mr. Toshiaki Kanayama, President of Corsol, and Ms. Akiko Matsunami, General Manager of the Administration Department, about how they have been working to promote the use of childcare leave, challenges and solutions for creating a comfortable working environment for employees, and future initiatives.

Photo of Mr. Toshiaki Kanayama, President of Corsol, and Ms. Akiko Matsunami, Director of Administration Dept.

Male employees take an average of 58 days of childcare leave!

 The first time a male employee took childcare leave at our company was in 2014. Later in 2015, the then section manager approached me to ask if I would like to take childcare leave, and I told him that I would be happy to take the leave as long as my duties rotate within the team, which is how the number of men taking childcare leave began to grow. The fact that the manager took childcare leave lowered the hurdle for other employees to take the leave, and since then, the number of male employees asking about childcare leave has gradually increased, and by 2021, we achieved a 100% rate of male employees taking childcare leave and the average number of days male employees took childcare leave was 58 days (2014 – 2021).


Corsol's Childcare Leave Utilization Rate


The key to promoting the use of childcare leave is teamwork and a “sense of conviction” among members.

 One of the challenges in promoting the use of childcare leave is filling in for personnel on childcare leave. The remaining members of the team are expected to follow up, and we are taking steps to ensure that the contributions of employees who follow up are reflected in their personnel evaluations and other measures to gain a “sense of satisfaction.
 Furthermore, work is not done alone, but as a team, and teamwork is essential for problem solving. One of our employee action guidelines is to “cooperate with each other,” and we are always conscious of fostering a culture of mutual help. Whenever there is a request for maternity leave, the people around me are always willing to make the request come true, even during busy work periods.
 It is also important to avoid “gentrification” of work. I think it is important for each person to improve their skills, share information, operate as a team, and strengthen the organization so that work will not be lost if someone leaves.

Photo by Matsunami Akako

Information sharing dispels concerns and compensates for 50% of salary decrease due to shorter hours.

 Other opportunities include seminars for male employees who have taken childcare leave to talk about their experiences, information sharing via e-mail and chat during childcare leave, and meetings with supervisors and management before and after long-term childcare leave to dispel concerns about promotion and salary after returning to work and to help employees visualize balancing work and childcare. We are committed to providing our employees with the opportunity to work and raise children at the same time.
 In terms of systems, a “shortened working hour system for childcare” is available, which allows employees to shorten their working hours until their child graduates from elementary school at the latest.
 Furthermore, a “childcare support allowance” was introduced after a very small number of employees who had returned to work after childcare leave resigned because their salaries were substantially reduced due to shorter working hours. We felt that it was not right that an employee who returned to work after taking childcare leave should receive a substantial reduction in salary despite the fact that he or she was making a great contribution to the company, so we introduced this system to compensate 50% of the employee’s wages for the reduced hours due to shorter hours for childcare.
 Experienced employees will always produce results, even if their working hours are short, and this motivates employees, which in turn leads to the development of the company.

Promoting the use of parental leave has many benefits for companies

 Since we are a small to medium-sized BtoB business, we were not that well known among students in the beginning. However, after winning the “Ikumen Company Award,” we were featured in various media, which led to an increase in the number of students interested in our company as a good place to work, and this led to an increase in the number of new graduates hired. One of our employees said that one of the reasons he joined the company was “because it is a company that allows employees to take childcare leave.
 Promoting the use of childcare leave is also beneficial from a cost perspective. It would be a great loss to our company if employees resigned because of difficulties in balancing work and childcare. It costs an enormous amount of money to hire and train engineers from scratch. If they return to work after taking childcare leave and remain active for a long time, they will contribute to the company in terms of profit.

Photo of Toshiaki Kanayama, President of Corsol

Capturing the needs of all employees through direct dialogue and continuing to respond to their requests

 All employees at our company have a one-on-one meeting with the president once a year and with the human resources manager once a year, respectively. By listening directly to employees’ voices, we are able to understand their needs and review our systems and operational methods. I believe that this direct dialogue helps to improve the workplace environment and reduce the turnover rate. The openness that allows employees to freely express their opinions to the president is a strength unique to small and medium-sized companies.
 With the revision of the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law, it has become an obligation to create an employment environment that facilitates the use of childcare leave, and further development of a system to encourage employees to take such leave is also necessary. In addition, more and more employees will have family members who need nursing care. We believe it is important to proactively review our systems and programs to ensure smooth operations not only for childcare, but also when employees leave the company for nursing care or long-term leave.
 Even as our company grows in size, we will continue to respond to requests for initiatives that will benefit the company and its employees, valuing our open corporate culture that allows employees’ voices to be heard.

Photo by Toshiaki Kanayama