Everyone faces life-changing events such as pregnancy, childbirth, parenting,
nursing care and treatment of illnesses at some time or other.
Nobody can foretell when they are likely to occur.
Sony's Symphony Plan* is designed to create an environment that enables employees who
face life-changing events to continue working and reach their full potential
by providing support for a solid work-life balance at any career stage.
Since Sony's human resources are extremely diverse, it does not necessarily mean that the measures they need are the same in all cases. The Symphony Plan provides wide-ranging support for a work-life balance tailored to each employee's needs according to work style and family circumstances. Employees can choose the most suitable plan in consultation with their families and their workplaces.
The Symphony Plan adds to the existing support for maternity and parental leave by providing a new system to support the balance between work and infertility treatment. The company has introduced new vacation and leave schemes for infertility treatment, work schemes to support flexible work styles, and subsidies for infertility treatment costs. Employees can make use of subsidies for infertility treatment costs irrespective of gender, and employees' partners are also eligible.
Today, when it is normal for husbands and wives to share housework and parenting, the company is aiming for 100% of male employees to take paternity leave to support the new child-rearing style. In addition to "Paternity Leave Seminars" to motivate target employees, the company uses courses for managers to promote better understanding among them.
Sony provides various types of life-work balance support in connection with nursing care. Adding to the existing life-work balance support measures relating to preparations for nursing care and nursing care itself, the company has established a new financial support scheme to supplement the monthly salaries of employees on caregivers' leave by 50%.
The company also holds seminars and workshops on caregiving and continues to make environmental improvements that will enable employees to continue working with peace of mind by strengthening schemes for balancing nursing care and work. In addition, it continues to offer employees who suddenly face the need to provide nursing care with the opportunity to learn from experts how to make advance preparations without getting confused.
The Symphony Plan newly expands the support scheme for balancing cancer prevention, detection and treatment with work. Early detection is extremely important for cancer treatment, and the Plan has reinforced the system for individual follow-ups by tying up with medical institutions providing physical check-ups, health insurance associations and Health management department to raise the detailed examination rate.
To increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of cancer, an e-learning program on "From prevention to cure" of cancer prepared under the supervision of a cancer specialist has been made compulsory for all employees. The company has introduced shorter working hours and flexitime so that employees can adopt a more flexible work style to balance cancer treatment with work.
The word "symphony" means both a piece of music and harmony, and is also associated with "sound," the roots of Sony's business. We decided to name Sony's work-life balance support scheme "Symphony Plan" to enable our employees, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, to balance various life-changing events with work.
The creation of mechanisms to support the balance between work and life-changing events such as pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, nursing care and cancer treatment of illnesses is not merely an issue for Sony. It is a major problem for Japanese society as well. As it seeks to resolve this social problem, Sony has taken the lead in reinforcing its systems and improving its workplaces to allow each individual employee to reach their full potential. In the sense that this provides an opportunity to boost momentum in society, I see it as one way of making a contribution. Sony will provide employees with the support they need to face their challenges, while simultaneously continuing to implement HR measures tailored to each individual employee.
Sony's Symphony Plan is a work-life balance support scheme that brings harmony to employees' lives and careers