Human Rights and Labor-Management Relations
The Group pursues human rights initiatives in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights established by the United Nations. Since its inception, the Group has conducted business activities that earn the trust of stakeholders based on the corporate credos “Service before profit” and “Abjure all evil and practice all good.”
Respect for human rights underlies all our business activities. Companies are expected to have a better understanding of various human rights issues related to all activities in each country or business and to take appropriate actions. We at the Group will act based on this idea.
The Group has established a Sustainability Committee to promote sustainability management in all companies in the Group in a cross-organizational manner by addressing ESG materiality issues.The Committee is positioned as an advisory committee directly under the President and Representative Executive Officer and meets biannually.The Sustainability Committee shares policies for addressing social issues including the environment and human rights, formulates the Group’s action plans on social issues including the environment and human rights, and monitors their progress. The Board of Directors receives reports on the content of discussions and resolutions made by the Sustainability Committee and discusses and supervises the Group's policies and action plans for addressing social issues including the environment and human rights.
Human rights policy
The Group includes a human rights policy in the JFR Principles of Action and the JFR Principles of Action for Suppliers, both of which were formulated in 2019.The human rights policy was formulated based on the International Bill of Human Rights, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact. This policy provides our ideas for deepening understanding of various human rights issues that form the foundation of all our business activities and for taking appropriate actions.
Human rights policy
(1) Basic ideas on human rights
(2) Stakeholders and human rights
(3) Implementation of human rights due diligence
(4) Development of corporate culture that respects human rights
(5) Dialogue with stakeholders
Human rights policy
Human rights due diligence
The Group formulated its Human Rights Policy based on identified human rights risks and shared it with suppliers. And we confirm the status of their compliance with the shared Human Rights Policy through assessment. When a problem is found, we make improvements through dialogue with relevant suppliers. We implement such human rights due diligence activities.
"Management of the entire supply chain"
Identified human rights risks
In 2020, the Group identified human rights risks arising from its business activities.The Risk Management Committee identified and assessed risks based on environmental analysis, narrowed them down to the ones to be prioritized, and shared risk awareness throughout the Group as the “list of the Group risks." In particular, we selected important human rights-related risks from among them and identified them as the human rights risks of the Group.We will continue to work together with employees and primary suppliers to prevent human rights risks from materializing.
In 2021, the Group assessed the suppliers with whom it has long-term business relationships to check the status of their compliance with the JFR Principles of Action for Suppliers. As part of our human rights due diligence efforts, we added questions on “human rights,” which are gaining social importance, and assessed the status of their efforts.*
Reference: Supplier assessment conducted in FY2021
They were found to comply with the Human Rights Policy in the JFR Principles of Action for Suppliers, and we saw no human rights risks to which we should pay close attention. On the other hand, some suppliers had not yet put in place human rights policies or guidelines.
Based on the results of the assessment, we will engage in dialogue with suppliers and encourage them to make corrections and improvements. We will also disseminate the importance of human rights initiatives to our suppliers using briefings and other means.
We will continue to assess our suppliers every other year to prevent and reduce human rights risks.
*Scope of assessment: Head Office of J. Front Retailing, Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, and seven associated operating companies
Harassment Consultation Desk and Whistleblowing System
In 2020, the Group adopted a Declaration on the Elimination of Harassment to eliminate and prevent harassment, which it considers as one of human rights risks. The “Harassment Prevention Committee” and the “Harassment Consultation Desk” are in place to take prompt action at the time of occurrence and prevent a recurrence. In addition, we have a whistleblowing system that enables all officers and employees of the Group and all people working in the Group (including part-time workers and temporary staff from suppliers) to directly notify the Compliance Committee of any compliance-related problems and ask for correction. In March 2020, this whistleblowing system was registered with the Consumer Agency’s “Whistleblowing Compliance Management System certification (registration system based on the self-declaration of conformity)” (WCMS certification), and in March 2021, this registration was renewed.
JFR Group Compliance Hotline (a whistleblowing system)
Education on human rights
The Group provides human rights education from the perspective that individual employees should correctly recognize and understand human rights issues and that we should further promote the creation of corporate culture and corporate social responsibility based on respect for human rights.
In 2019, the management explained in person to all employees about the importance of the “JFR Principles of Action” and the “human rights policy” at each business site.We also use our intranet to help all employees deepen their understanding of human rights at any time. Furthermore, every year we provide employees in management positions with basic knowledge on harassment and share with them cases in the Group based on a “harassment survey” in management trainings by rank and trainings for newly appointed general managers, managers and leaders to develop measures in their workplaces. Through these efforts, the Group as a whole is working to improve understanding of human rights.
Human Rights Awareness Promotion Committee
We provide human rights education and strive to raise employees’ awareness of human rights from the perspective that individual employees should correctly recognize and understand human rights issues and that we should further promote the creation of corporate culture and corporate social responsibility based on respect for human rights.
Major initiative: Establishment of the “Human Rights Awareness Promotion Committee”
Chairpersons (Executive General Manager of Human Resources Development Division and Executive Store Managers / Store Managers), promotion commissioners (division managers), promotion staff (members) and secretariat
(i) Dowa issues (Japan’s historical caste-based discrimination issues) ⇒ Correct understanding of dowa issues
(ii) Disability issues ⇒ Correct recognition and understanding of disabilities
(iii) Women’s issues ⇒ Understanding and prevention of sexual harassment, etc.
(iv) Other human rights issues ⇒ Protection of the confidentiality of personal information and others
(i) Participation in training ⇒ Training when joining the company, in-house human rights seminars and others
(ii) Participation in outside training ⇒ Various seminars organized by governments
(iii) Hands-on activities ⇒ Distribution of various educational materials and notices of seminars
There are some cases where various stresses cause mental illness and harassment to others against the backdrop of recent drastic changes in the environment surrounding companies. In particular, harassment will worsen a work environment, which will result in lower productivity, an increase in mental illness and the loss of human resources. These days when CSR and compliance including corporate duty of care for safety are subject to scrutiny, we recognize that harassment is a great risk factor that may not only greatly damage victims physically and mentally but also lead to the loss of corporate social credibility depending on how to handle it once it occurs.
Therefore, the department store chain and other companies in the Group are establishing systems to prevent all harassment including “power harassment” as well as “sexual harassment,” take prompt action at the time of occurrence, and prevent a recurrence by setting up the “Harassment Prevention Committee” and the “Harassment Consultation Desk.”
Harassment Prevention Committee
・Head offices and stores
・Promotion of measures and awareness to prevent the occurrence of all types of harassment
・Amicable settlement of actual harassment
・Examination of recurrence prevention measures
Harassment Consultation Desk
・Head offices and stores (each division)
・First consultation service handling complaints about all types of harassment
・Confirmation of facts and collection of information
In Japan, the Labor Standards Act and other labor relations-related laws set forth basic rules regarding labor rights including employment opportunities, working hours and health and safety and require both labor and management to comply with them.
At each operating company in the Group, issues concerning working conditions and the improvement of economic status are resolved autonomously by labor and management in line with the actual situation of the unit labor union. J. Front Retailing and the Federation of J. Front Retailing Group Labor Unions hold the “JFR Labor-Management Meetings” to deepen the mutual understanding of labor and management and help operating companies in the Group develop smooth labor-management relations.
*Overall membership rate in the Federation of J. Front Retailing Group Labor Unions: 77.3% (October 1 ,2021)