Respect for Human Rights
Our stance on human rights
Under the corporate philosophy of “Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone,” the SoftBank Group aims to properly develop and improve the power of information revolution towards happiness for humanity. Accordingly, we recognize the importance that human rights shall be respected in every aspect of our corporate activities, as articulated in our Human Rights Policy. We require all SoftBank Group officers and employees to understand the Policy and will ask external stakeholders, such as investees and business partners to respond in the same way.
Human Rights Policy and our view on related issues
Our view on other human rights issues
While we are committed to complying with the various laws and regulations in every country or jurisdiction where we operate, we shall maximize compliance with the international principles of human rights* and fulfill our responsibility to respect of human rights even if local laws and regulations are not fully consistent with the international human rights principles.
We shall respect basic labor rights such as the freedom of association, the right to unite and the right to collective bargaining.
We shall provide and improve safe, sound and healthy working environments by:
· Offering competitive wages and benefits that exceed living wages relative to the local labor market specific to the area and the industry.
· Reducing excessive working hours beyond compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
· Complying with relevant laws and regulations concerning labor practices.
We offer reliable and highly convenient services by taking the utmost care not to infringe on the protection of privacy while respecting the freedom of expression in telecommunications and the Internet and communications on social media.
We identify human rights risks specific to each of the industries where we operate and endeavor to mitigate such risks.
We design and build a mechanism to assess the effect of business activities on human rights, and will apply it consistently and methodically. When any business activities have a negative effect on human rights, we shall appropriately address the mitigation and resolution of such effect by applying fair and equitable relief measures through sincere discussions and consultation with stakeholders, and will disclose progress on a timely basis.
Refer to “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” “Children’s Rights and Business Principles,” and “Eight Fundamental ILO Conventions.”
In addition, in order to thoroughly disseminate the Group’s initiatives based on the Human Rights Policy and related issues mentioned above, SoftBank Group offers educational sessions on human rights to officers and employees of the Group and proactively promotes the human rights advocate activities together with stakeholders.
Human rights promotion structure
The SoftBank Group advocates and respects human rights across the entire Group in accordance with the SoftBank Group Human Rights Policy. Since efforts to protect and respect human rights in our business activities are cross-departmental events, SoftBank Group Corp. strives to ensure that the Human Resources Department, Compliance Department and Sustainability Promotion Group of General Administration Department work together on a daily basis to take appropriate measures.
Furthermore, the Group Risk and Compliance Committee (GRCC) will discuss a proper system or measures to prevent human rights violations, the results of which shall be reported to the Board of Directors, while identifying any negative effects of business activities on human rights.
The Group companies are also working to develop and improve the system to more actively exchange internal information on human rights within the company in order to identify any industry-specific human rights risks that need to be addressed.
Identification of significant human rights risks
Since one of our key business areas is the information industry, we recognize that respect for the freedom of expression and protection of privacy in telecommunications and the Internet and communications on social media are particularly critical human rights issues. The SoftBank Group therefore strives to evolve technological enhancements on a daily basis to deliver reliable and highly convenient services.
At the same time, each of the Group companies is required to specify human rights issues specific to their industry, to develop diverse services, products and business activities without adhering to specific technologies or business models. In order to properly promote these initiatives, the SoftBank Group will proactively implement and improve measures to identify potential risks and prevent or mitigate human rights violation instances by implementing stakeholder engagement initiatives.
Human rights risk assessment
The SoftBank Group developed mechanisms to regularly assess and monitor the negative effect of business activities on human rights, targeting relevant suppliers as well as our Group. Through this process, we undertake appropriate correction and relief measures for any potential instances determined to be a human rights violation. The SoftBank Group is accountable to our stakeholders for such correction and relief measures and will disclose the progress of such measures on a timely basis.
Education and awareness activities
The SoftBank Group raises awareness of the importance of human rights among all officers and employees by thoroughly disseminating the SoftBank Group Code of Conduct and Human Rights Policy and offering training sessions. We also provide instructions to managers on how to respond appropriately in the event that they receive a report or are consulted about bullying or harassment.
Respecting human rights in the supply chain
In order to promote business activities that respect human rights throughout the supply chain, major entities of the Group companies communicate with their suppliers as required. The SoftBank Group is actively engaged in human rights-friendly procurement activities in partnership with stakeholders.
Creation of Sound Working Environment
The SoftBank Group aims to create working environments in which everyone can exercise self-expression, and emphasize respect for employees’ fundamental human rights and equal opportunity, as well as their safety and health in our workplaces. Aiming to achieve the SoftBank Group's vision of becoming corporate group needed most by people around the world, we have endeavored to build a working environment in which all employees can maximize their abilities.
Human resources strategy
SoftBank Group Corp. aims to achieve sustainable growth through partnership with the best companies in different industries. Thus, we require every person working in SoftBank Group Corp. to become a master of his or her profession. We believe that in any category of work and in any position, our employees must have the capacity to think logically and tackle unprecedented challenges using numbers and reasoning. We also expect our employees to have a high level of expertise in their relevant fields and the communication skills required to engage in business with leading companies around the world. With these expectations, SoftBank Group Corp. is committed to recruit the most qualified individuals for open positions without regard to gender, ethnicity, nationality or disability. Once employees join the SoftBank Group, we pledge to provide sufficient opportunities for them to continuously develop their competencies.
Career development management
The SoftBank Group promotes effective career development initiatives to help employees reach their full potential.
SoftBank Group Corp. offers every employee the opportunity to receive open feedback from their principal managers on a monthly basis. This enables us to make any relevant changes in position or assignment, considering aptitude and competency so that the right person fills the right position.
Our basic policy is that each employee is required to develop and improve competency as a professional, using education available to every employee after completing the initial training sessions offered at the beginning of employment. To support this, we offer English conversation lessons and the SoftBank Group-wide training programs. In addition, employees can access external training sessions using the education budget allocated to each department or division.
Employee satisfaction survey
In order to build a stronger organization and enhance motivation, the SoftBank Group regularly conducts employee satisfaction surveys in order to gauge current sentiment and to identify any issues. The FY2019 survey showed balanced results with work, managers, workplaces and companies across the Group and implies a high degree of employee satisfaction at all levels. Leveraging the analysis of the survey results, we consistently carry out activities that are designed to motivate employees and improve the organization. This leads to better corporate performance and higher retention of talented human resources, which supports the sustainable growth of businesses.
Diversity and inclusion
The SoftBank Group believes that diversity and inclusion plays a primary role in building a bright and prosperous, lively society. We aim to have inclusive working environments in place in which every employee shall be treated fairly, and their various rights shall be respected without prejudice and bias.
Success of female employees
The SoftBank Group believes that the entire company benefits from the contribution of every female employee demonstrating their individual abilities. The Group has actively hired women and assigned them to managerial positions. As of March 2020, female employees made up 42% of the total employees of SoftBank Group Corp., while accounting for 24% of managers and 29% of newly hired employees. Consequently, SoftBank Group Corp. has been selected for the MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index (WIN) , which consists of companies with exceptional gender diversity. In addition, the company has also been accredited as a "
THE INCLUSION OF SoftBank Group Corp. IN ANY MSCI INDEX, AND THE USE OF MSCI LOGOS, TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS OR INDEX NAMES HEREIN, DO NOT CONSTITUTE A SPONSORSHIP, ENDORSEMENT OR PROMOTION OF SoftBank Group Corp. BY MSCI OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES. THE MSCI INDEXES ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF MSCI. MSCI AND THE MSCI INDEX NAMES AND LOGOS ARE TRADEMARKS OR SERVICE MARKS OF MSCI OR ITS AFFILIATES
Expanded employment of people with disabilities
The SoftBank Group promotes the employment of persons with disabilities.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives
SoftBank Corp. has undertaken various initiatives to promote understanding of LGBT, including both internal and external awareness activities. Since 2017, SoftBank Corp. has received the Gold Award by “work with Pride,” a voluntary association, for three consecutive years.
Education program to identify and foster successors
On July 28, 2010, Masayoshi Son published SoftBank’s Next 30-Year Vision and concurrently declared the establishment of the SoftBank Academia in order to identify and foster potential successors.
In addition to special lectures by Son and other well-known leaders, the SoftBank Academia has carried out a number of programs, including:
· Presentation programs on the SoftBank Group business strategies
· Management simulation game
· Unique projects
· Creation of businesses
Since June 2011, the Academia has opened its doors to people outside the Group. Individuals of various backgrounds with high aspirations have been enrolled as students in the Academia, where students “strive together and learn together.” Our aim is to produce talented people who will pioneer the next era.
The SoftBank Group strives to realize flexible working conditions and provide an environment where all employees can work comfortably. These practices have been shared across the entire group in the form of the SoftBank Group Code of Conduct.
There is no labor union at SoftBank Group Corp. However, the company provides a venue for constructive dialogue in which the Human Resources Department meets several employees and employee representatives semi-annually to exchange views and opinions on working conditions, including revisions to the personnel system, working hours, use of absences, and workplace safety and health.
Fair and industry-competitive treatment
For better quality of life and employee motivation, the SoftBank Group endeavors to pay industry-competitive wages and benefits above living wages without being bound by compliance with the requirements of legal minimum wages. While the SoftBank Group determines wages, salaries and bonuses in compliance with local laws and regulations, appropriate amounts commensurate with performance in consideration of survey results of leading companies and competitors. In 2019 SoftBank Group Corp. highly exceeded Japan’s national weighted average of regional minimum wages*.
As of 2019, 220% higher than the average annual income of ￥6,203,000 on Basic Survey on Wage Structure:Tokyo
Work style reform
SoftBank Group Corp. has established various systems to realize the appropriate balance between work and quality of life, placing importance on work life balance. We have also undertaken various measures to reduce long working hours.
Promotion of the realization of work life balance and reducing long working hours
· Paid annual leave (25 days annually)
· Substantial grant of special paid leave (including marriage leave, refreshment leave and others)
· Introduction of tele-work
· Introduction of super flextime system across the company (flextime system without core time)
· Regular reminders concerning attendances and absences by robotic process automation (promotion of input, alert to long-time working, encouragement to take annual leave)
· Promotion of “Premium Friday”
Support for childcare, nursing care etc.
◆Enhancement of support for return to work
· Shortened working hours (up to sixth grade in elementary school)
· Welcome Back System (re-employment system for former employees who left the company due to spouse’s transfer)
· Interview with HR Department (a month after reinstatement to former position)
· Substantial improvement to various leave systems (kids leave, nursing leave and others)
◆Enhancement of support for childbirth and childcare
· Orientation by HR Department concerning pre-and post-childbirth
· Celebration of childbirth (1,000,000 yen for three children, 3,000,000 yen for four children, and 5,000,000 yen for 5 or more children)
· Substantial improvement to leave for male employees (paternity leave, childcare leave [limited to paid leave], childcare absences [long-term])
· Childcare leave (until the day before the child’s third birthday)
· Substantial improvement to leave system (hospital visit leave during gestation, safe motherhood leave, and maternity leave)
◆Support system for the nursing care
· Nursing care leave (10 working days annually, either consecutively or in total)
· Absences for nursing care (up to one year)
· Shortened working hours
Industrial safety and health
The SoftBank Group specifies industrial safety and health risks in the course of business activities of each of the Group companies and promotes initiatives to reduce related risks to maintain workplace environments where all employees can work in a healthy manner both physically and mentally.
Assessment of risks at workplaces
In order to prevent occurrences of industrial accidents and comply with labor practices, SoftBank Group Corp. has been carrying out the following to identify and reduce risks associated with safety and health at workplaces:
· Offering regular stress check to employees.
· Monitoring and making a projection of long working hours.
· Assessing risks at workplaces on a regular basis such as employee satisfaction surveys including monitoring of any harassment.
If a regular risk assessment reveals higher risks such as the occurrence of excessive long working hours, SoftBank Group Corp. implements appropriate corrective measures to reduce risks.
When deciding on new investments, SoftBank Group Corp. aims to detect risks in advance through the assistance of external advisors in addition to internal relevant departments who conduct due diligence in the process of making investment decisions, including evaluating targeted entities compliance with laws and regulations.
Safety measures in the event of emergency
The SoftBank Group has appropriate systems in place to ensure the safety of employees whenever any natural disaster (earthquakes, typhoons and others) or other emergency occurs. In the event of emergency, an emergency task force will be established as appropriate and each group of companies shall implement appropriate measures in line with the rules to address emergency cases. In addition, SoftBank Group Corp. offers emergency trainings to employees and maintains the safety of equipment and facilities from time to time.
Supply Chain Management
Partnership with all the suppliers
To become a “corporate group needed most by people around the world,” the SoftBank Group conducts business in various fields and has built diverse supply chains all over the world the SoftBank Group places importance on sustainability in these supply chains, and believes that it is essential not only to comply with laws, but also to conduct business based on high ethical standards. Therefore, the SoftBank Group encourages suppliers to comply with laws and regulations and take initiatives equivalent to the ethical standards set out in the SoftBank Group Code of Conduct, and seek the following, with a view to contributing to the sustainable development and resolution of environmental and social challenges together with the SoftBank Group.
Standards for suppliers
◆Protection of the environment
· Be environmentally responsible and sustainable. Reduce waste and emissions, promote the efficient use of limited resources and minimize your impact on our environment.
· All overtime should be voluntary and paid in accordance with local laws.
◆Prohibition of Child labor
· Comply with local legal working age.
· Employees shall not be under the legal working age of the respective region or shall not be less than 16 years of age (the higher of the two should be met).
◆Prohibition of Forced labor
· Respect for human rights.
· Use only voluntary labor and provide the right to resign upon reasonable notice.
· Do not use forced labor such as indenture, servile or compulsory labor.
· Do not demand workers to work longer than the maximum work hours of daily labor set by local laws. All overtime should be voluntary and paid in accordance with local laws.
· Act with respect to others.
· Do not engage in coercive physical contact or abuse, verbal abuse, sexual or other harassment, threats of abuse or other forms of intimidation.
◆Safety and health
· Provide a safe and healthy work environment and take adequate steps to minimize the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
◆Prohibition of discrimination and inhumane treatment
· Follow the SoftBank Group’s commitment to a workplace free of harassment and unlawful discrimination. Value diversity and inclusion.
· Respect and value cultural differences. Do not engage in discrimination in respect of hiring, working conditions, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, color, caste, nationality, ancestry, religious creed, age, disability, medical condition, genetic information, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, sex and gender, union membership or political affiliation, military or veteran status, or other protected characteristics.
In order to deal with CSR-related issues together with business partners, SoftBank Corp., a major subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., provides reliable and safe products and services to customers, and conducts business activities which are trusted by society, we have established the “Supplier Ethics and Rules of Conduct” and request that all business partners comply with these rules.
Communication with suppliers
In order to support suppliers’ awareness-raising for environment and their initiatives to achieve it, SoftBank Corp., a major subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., provides Supplier Ethics and Rules of Conduct to internal and external stakeholders including suppliers, and encourage them to comply.