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Work–Life Balance

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It is vitally important to improve the workspace environment so that employees can continue working while ensuring a proper balance between their work and their private lives. At Mizuho, various lifestyle support systems are in place for employees to promote better balance between their work and private lives.

Promoting Work–Life Balance

Mizuho positions the issue of creating a workplace environment where employees can continue their work as they maintain a good balance between their work and their personal lives. Mizuho is implementing work/life balance initiatives that will enable employees to (a) respond to family needs, including the raising of children and caring for seniors, (b) follow a diversity of work styles, and (c) enable male employees to participate in the child–rearing process. During fiscal 2015, activities were conducted to increase the number of days that male employees take off to provide assistance at home when their wives are having children. These included providing detailed information on the childbirth vacation leave system and having supervisory personnel recommend taking leave to their subordinates.

Mizuho is also taking active initiatives to support the work–life balance through endeavoring to reduce work hours by establishing leave work on time weeks (Refresh Summer and Refresh Winter weeks), setting times to turn off all lighting at the head office, and setting work hour reduction targets for each branch. Mizuho has also provided for a diverse range of leaves from work, including the Personal Development Leave program to support and encourage employees to take time off for personal enrichment and the Community Service Leave program.

Encouraging Flexibility in Work Styles

Mizuho Bank has introduced flextime systems for each of its departments and allows adjustments in working hours appropriate to the nature of the department's work content. Mizuho Bank has also provided all of its employees with iPad mobile terminals to increase work efficiency and mobile work arrangements that allow employees to devote their maximum energies to client relationships. For employees taking childcare leave, mobile terminals allow them to confirm change in procedures and access Company information, thus providing for a smooth return to work following childbirth.

Workstyle Advisory Desk

This desk is dedicated to making proposals and considering solutions together with employees to issues related to the use of various systems for supporting a diversity of workstyles through improved communication with the workplace.

Work–Life Balance Support Activities

Mizuho offers several programs to minimize work–related obstacles to childbirth and raising children, such as childcare leave to age two and reduced working hours until the child reaches the third grade of elementary school. Mizuho also maintains on–site childcare facilities and other programs to support a healthy work–life balance. In addition, Mizuho is working to support a balance between work and childrearing through the provision of childcare centers in the workplace premises, holding of seminars on related topics, and preparation of manuals.

Healthcare Centers in the Workplace

Even when the capacity of day care centers for children is limited, to facilitate smooth early return to work from child–rearing leave, Mizuho has set up childcare centers internally, nicknamed "Mizuho Kids Duckling" centers. In November 2015, Mizuho opened a new childcare center in its Uchisaiwai Head Office Building, nicknamed "Mizuho Kids Gajumaru."

Childbirth and Childcare Support Manual

For employees approaching childbirth, Mizuho has introduced various systems to support the work and life balance, and, to support employees' returning to work after childbirth, Mizuho has prepared and distributed related manuals.

Seminars on Work–Life Balance

For pregnant employees, Mizuho offers its "Pre–Mama Seminars" which are intended to make employees conscious of their career development after returning to work and provide them with know–how regarding the work–life balance. Also, at Mizuho's Work–Life Balance Support Seminars" and "Diver Café," Mizuho provides information on ways to cope with changes that will occur as children grow older. Other programs to assist employees in building their careers in the medium–to–long term include lectures by outside experts.

In addition, Mizuho has developed systems to actively support employees, including the distributing of its "Work–Life Balance Support Handbook," providing for interviews with employees prior to their maternity leaves, during their leaves, and when they return to work, and promoting the understanding among supervisors of the environment that employees face to achieve a good work–life balance.


Mizuho Kids Karugamo in Sendagaya

Childbirth and Child Care Support System (Overview)
Image: Childbirth and Child Care Support System (Overview)

Support for Employees Who Are Working and Caring for Seniors

In fiscal 2014, Mizuho introduced its "Seminar for Supporting Employees Caring for Seniors." Also, beginning in fiscal 2015, Mizuho significantly increased the number of days of leave employees can take for senior care, and the number of hours employees may devote, including late arrival and early departures. Also, to provide advice to employees who are anxious and worried regarding senior care, Mizuho set up a new advisory function for this purpose staffed by outside professionals.

Work–Life Balance Support System
System/initiative Applicable period Outline of the system
Before childbirth leave 6 weeks before childbirth Leave at the request of the person who gave birth to a child
After childbirth leave 8 weeks after childbirth Prohibited from work in principle
Child care time From birth until age 1 Secure child care time twice a day (30 minutes × 2)
Child care leave From birth until age 2 Leave at the request of the person who gave birth to a child
Short–term paid child care leave 8 weeks leave after childbirth 5–day paid leave
Shortened work hours due to child care From birth until about the third grade of elementary school Shortened work hours at the request of the person who gave birth to a child
(Option of shortened or full–time work hours)
Adjustments in timing of working hours for childrearing and caring for relatives From birth until about the third grade of elementary school
Family nursing–care period
Changed by application of the employee
Overtime work exemption for childcare or nursing care From birth to third grade
Family nursing–care period
Overtime work exemption at the request of the individual
Worksite transfer Transfer request associated with the worksite transfer of a spouse due to holding a key position (specialization) or being specialized personnel
Transfer due to childcare or nursing care Transfer request to a local work site under an employee childcare or nursing–care program
Husband's child care leave after childbirth Before and after childbirth Possible for husband to take a leave of five days before and after childbirth
Nursing care leave From childbirth to the child becoming an elementary school student Special leave of up to five days per child allowed when a child is sick other than yearly paid vacation time
Nursing care subsidy For employees who want to make an early return to workd from childbirth and childrearing, Mizuho pays half or a portion of the naturing care costs
Subsidy for expenses for a home helper or a babysitter Part of or all of such expenses is paid by the subsidy
Family care leave Up to 244 work days Leave of absence granted following application by an employee with a family member requiring long–term care
  • (Note)Systems for flexible personnel change with regard to the transfer of spouses and transfers of employees having to meet child–care or family–care demands, and systems for providing financial support for club activities, supporting employees with childbirth–related needs, and other types of support are also in place.
Number of Child–Care Leaves Taken
  FY2012 FY2013 FY2014
Number of employees on child–care leave 1,429 (Incl. 270 men) 1,638 (Incl. 241 men) 1,880 (Incl. 260 men)
  • (Note)Figures for men include men taking time off to support spouses giving birth.
  • Fiscal 2014 childcare leave return rate: 92.9%
  • Fiscal 2014 number of employees taking short–term leave: 1,217
Usage of paid vacation time
  FY2012 FY2013 FY2014
Average number of paid vacation hours used (day) 12.1 12.5 13.0
Ratio of paid vacation time used to total hours (60.6%) (62.5%) (64.9%)
  • *Data collected from the Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, and Mizuho Information & Research Institute. The ratio of paid vacation time used is the number of days of vacation taken divided by 20, which is the annual number of vacation day allowance.

Children's Visiting Day

Every August, Mizuho holds its "Children's Visiting Day" for the children of employees. On this day, children come to where their parents work and by being on the scene have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of what their parents do in the workplace through observation and experience. On the day the children visit, their parents leave work on time, and, using a half day of vacation time, parents return home with their children, thus providing an opportunity for children and parents to spend additional time together. In fiscal 2014, a total of about 1,000 children visited their parents at group companies.

Photo: Children's Visiting Day

Children's Visiting Day

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