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Respecting Human Rights

Basic Policies Regarding Human Rights

The Kubota Group supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, respects the human rights of all people, and does not discriminate or violate human rights on the basis of nationality, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, or for any other reason.
The Kubota Group does not permit forced labor or child labor, and also requests that its business partners comply in this regard. These policies are declared in the Kubota Group Charter for Action & Code of Conduct and put into practice.

Code of Conduct (excerpts)
  • We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and respect the human rights of all people.
  • We do not discriminate or violate human rights on the basis of nationality, race, age, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity,* disability, or for any other reason.
    * The concept of how one perceives one’s own gender.
  • We do not permit forced labor or child labor, and also request our business partners to comply in this regard.

Human Rights Advancement System

In Japan, Kubota has a Human Rights Advancement Planning & Coordination Committee headed by the director in charge of CSR Planning & Coordination Headquarters. Its members at each Kubota site are promoting activities based on the human rights advancement activity policies. At the beginning of each fiscal year, a meeting is held gathering the committee members of all sites.
Besides the committee members, a human rights advancement leader is appointed at each site, who leads the human rights advancement activities of the site.

  • Human Rights Advancement Planning & Coordination Committee

Human Rights Education

Aiming to create a harassment-free, conducive workplace environment, Kubota plans and provides human rights education programs for all employees, including President and Directors, every year, based on the human rights advancement activity policies. The human rights education program can also be accessed from overseas via a video conference system.
The education programs include rank-based training, such as training for new employees, and human rights education provided at each site. In 2019, we introduced training through e-learning for increased user convenience. In 2019, all Kubota employees (in terms of the total number of participants) in Japan received human rights education through internal training or training offered by external organizations.

[Results of Internal Training in 2019]

Internal training External training Total
Kubota 17,898 people 338 people 18,236 people
Group companies in Japan 11,286 people 141 people 11,427 people

Major Internal Education Programs

Training for management executives 229 people (including presidents, etc. of Group companies in Japan)
Training for new employees 1,227 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
Training for newly appointed foremen 12 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
Training for newly appointed supervisors 43 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
Seminar for harassment consultation office personnel 68 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
e-learning courses on human rights advancement 10,549 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
  • The figures include temporary and re-hired employees.
  • For the hearing-impaired, DVD transcripts (or a DVD with subtitles) or lecture texts are provided in advance, so that they can receive training with other participants in the same room.

Major Education Themes

  • Prevention of harassment
    [Includes prevention of sexual harassment, maternity harassment,*1 power harassment, and bullying or indirect disadvantaging of sexual minorities (LGBT,*2 SOGI,*3 etc.)].
  • Training for superiors in responding to reports of harassment and promoting two-way communication
  • Social discrimination (Dowa) (such as online discrimination towards minority groups (e.g. Buraku), etc.)
  • Issues facing the disabled (Act to Advance the Elimination of Discrimination against the Disabled, the disabled employment ratio, etc.)
  • Issues facing foreign residents in Japan (hate-based harassment, etc.)
  • UK Modern Slavery Act
  • The supply chain and human rights (SDGs)
  • Various human rights issues (such as color vision variations and universal color design)
  • Results of surveys on CSR awareness
  • Revision of the employment regulations, etc. associated with the revision of the Equal Employment Opportunities Act and the Child Care and Family Care Leave Act
  1. *1.Harassment relating to pregnancy, childbirth, childcare leave, etc.
  2. *2.Acronym of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
  3. *3.SO (sexual orientation), GI (gender identity).

Major External Training

Kubota also encourages its employees to proactively participate in seminars hosted by corporate organizations addressing human rights issues and government organs.

Examples:
Dowa and Human Rights Issue Awareness-Raising Seminar (for management-level employees) hosted by the Corporate Federation for Dowa and Human Rights Issues: 12 participants
Dowa and Human Rights Issue Awareness-Raising Introductory Seminar hosted by the Sakai City Human Rights Education Promotion Council: 74 participants
The 39th Human Rights and Dowa Issue Corporate Awareness-Raising Seminar hosted by the Executive Committee*4: 32 participants (including those from Group companies in Japan)
The 49th Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Summer Seminar hosted by the Executive Committee*4: 19 participants (including those from Group companies in Japan), etc.
  1. *4.Hosted by Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute, etc.
  • Human Rights Training for Management Executives (Oct. 3, 2019)
    (Theme: Human rights in the workplace-Creating a harassment-free work environment)
    (Lecturer: Satomi Kuwano, CEO, Business Partner Office)

  • e-learning materials on human rights advancement

Consultation Office System

Harassment Consultation Office Personnel Seminar (July 3, 2019)
(Lecturer: Keiko Miki, CEO, Atelier M)

As remedial action for victims of human rights violation, Kubota established the Kubota Hotline?a whistleblowing system that includes the use of outside lawyers?and consultation office systems at each of its bases, including those overseas, thereby enabling it to respond swiftly to any issues that may arise.

Number of cases reported on human rights issues (including harassment) in 2019: 58 (20 of which were recognized)

[Whistleblowing System (Kubota Hotline)]

We distribute pocket cards with contact details and introduce such offices through the Company intranet, posters, email magazines, human rights seminars, and so on.

[Consultation Office System in Japan]

Each year, Kubota holds a seminar for harassment consultation office personnel inviting external lecturers, with the aim of improving their counseling ability and preventing secondary victimization. A total of 68 employees, focusing on newly appointed supervisors and including those who participated via a video conference system, took part in this seminar in 2019.
The seminar focused on enabling the participants to take prompt and appropriate action against many types of harassment, such as sexual, power, or maternity harassment, or harassment against sexual minorities, without causing any disadvantage to the informant.

Activities to Raise Human Rights Awareness

In order to enhance awareness of human rights, Kubota invites human rights-related slogans from all Japan-based employees, including those from Group companies in Japan, every year, and awards excellent slogans during Human Rights Week, which is celebrated every December.
In 2019, entries were received from a total of 17,702 applicants (an application rate of 83.1%) and the best slogan from each business site was posted on a long strip of paper. Starting from 2016, the awarded slogans have also been posted at distributors.

Human Rights Week Activities at Each Base

  • Installation of banners (Tsukuba Plant)

  • Installation of banners (headquarters)

  • Installation of standing signboards (Sakai Plant)

  • Awarding the winner of the human rights slogan contest
    (Group company in Japan)

  • Implementation of human rights training
    (Group company in Japan)

  • Display of human rights slogans (Hanshin Plant)

Protection of Privacy

From the perspective of respecting human rights and protecting privacy, Kubota conducts several inspections each year for each base to ensure there are no insufficiencies in investigation tasks such as credit surveys, and there are no problematic contents or descriptions from the perspective of human rights violation included in the investigation reports.

Respecting Human Rights throughout the Supply Chain

Kubota declares in the Kubota Group Charter for Action, “we do not permit forced labor or child labor, and also request our business partners to comply in this regard.”
Also, in its CSR Procurement Guidelines, Kubota declares that it does not permit forced labor or child labor, and also requests that its suppliers comply in this regard. The Guidelines also clearly prohibit the use of conflict minerals,* which are a source of funds for armed insurgents.
In May 2017, the Kubota Group released its Group statement with regard to the UK Modern Slavery Act, and has updated its statement each year, which can be seen on our website.
For employees in Japan, explanation is provided during their human rights education programs. At overseas Group companies, the business site heads of each company provides explanation to the employees.

  • Tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold and their derivatives, produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighboring countries, which constitute a source of funds for armed insurgents, who have repeatedly committed inhumane acts in these countries.

Awareness Survey on Harassment

An awareness survey on harassment is conducted collaboratively by the labor union and the Human Rights Advancement Department, targeting Kubota employees. The results of the survey are released through the Company intranet and on the newsletter distributed to union members. Details are explained in human rights education programs, etc.

External Related Organizations

Kubota participates in the external organizations below and is working to create a discrimination-free society.

  • The Corporate Federation for Dowa and Human Rights Issues, Osaka (also participating in Shiga, Wakayama, Hyogo, Chiba and Hiroshima)
  • Osaka City Corporate Human Rights Promotion Council (with related organizations in each municipality)
  • The Center for Fair Recruitment and Human Rights Advancement
  • Multi-Ethnic Human Rights Education Center for Pro-existence
  • Osaka Career Support & Talent Enhancement Plaza
  • Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute, etc.