Management System

The Panasonic Code of Conduct expressly states that “we must respect human rights and do our best to understand, acknowledge and respect the diverse cultures, religions, mindsets, laws and regulations of people in the different countries and regions where we conduct business.” Panasonic supports the fundamental principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The main parts of these principles are embodied in the Panasonic Code of Conduct.
Panasonic is also taking an active approach to reflecting ideas concerning global human rights in its management, including by making reference to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011.
In fiscal 2016, Panasonic complemented the Code of Conduct by setting a “Global Human Rights and Labor Policies” and by implementing a management system for complying with that policy. The management system comprises several elements, including self-assessment checklists for properly identifying risks and evaluating potential impacts on human rights, as well as a manual outlining the procedures for correcting the risks that have been identified and for carrying out continuous improvement.
Going forward, in addition to efforts conducted with its employees, Panasonic will continue to cooperate with its suppliers throughout the world to fully understand laws and labor practices in different countries and to respect human rights.

Policy

As a company doing business globally, Panasonic believes in the fundamental principle of treating interactions not only with its employees but all stakeholders with the maximum degree of concern and respect for their human rights. Panasonic’s human rights policies are expressly outlined in the Panasonic Code of Conduct and the Global Human Rights and Labor Policies. These policies covers items concerning issues including working hours; wages; humane treatment; prohibition of discrimination; protection of privacy; concern for the human rights of foreign workers, trainees, and younger laborers; and the freedom of association and labor-management dialogues.

Education

Panasonic conducts regular training concerning its Code of Conduct—which sets forth its policies on the respect for human rights—including training for new hires or for newly promoted employees.
We also conduct “Overseas Employee / Pre-Overseas Appointment Training” for employees on assignment from Japan and posted at overseas subsidiaries. This training aims to provide education on human rights issues that demand particular attention overseas, including fair treatment, the prohibition of employment discrimination, and respect for union activities.
In 2019, we investigated human rights risks at more than 100 electronics and electric companies in China. Through these investigations, we identified risks that included insufficient management of young workers, gender bias during hiring and promotions, and overtime work beyond legal limits. To share these results and discuss possible preventive measures, we held training sessions in three cities in China, to which 53 employees from 34 group companies attended. Moreover, CSR managers and personnel from each department attend the annual Global CSR Meeting, where they discuss forced labor and human rights problems, and report to each managers.

Responsible Executive and Framework

The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is Executive Officer Shigeki Mishima (as of August, 2020).
The departments responsible for the respect of human rights consist of the Human Resources & Industrial Relations Department established at the Panasonic Headquarters, the human resources departments located in each of the seven Panasonic Divisional Companies* (Appliances, Life Solutions, Connected Solutions, Industrial Solutions, Automotive, US, and China & Northeast Asia), and all business divisions and affiliated companies under the Panasonic umbrella.

*as of April, 2020

Human Rights Support Desk

Panasonic has established an Equal Partnership Consultation Office with dedicated contacts in both the Headquarters and employees’ labor union. We have also created contact offices in each Divisional Company and business division. This reporting framework allows us to address any human rights violation concern by employees, including temporary staff, who report cases of harassment, including sexual harassment, harassment towards sexual and gender (LGBT*), harassment based on power differentials, or related to pregnancy, childbirth, or childcare leaves. During consultations, we safeguard privacy and carefully handle the concerns, while confirming the employee’s needs. We also ensure that the employee and any other parties involved in fact-checking the case are protected from retaliation.
Furthermore, alongside the obligations to prevent harassment based on power differentials stipulated in the Labor Measures Comprehensive Promotion Act (revised June 2020), we have updated our leaflet covering Company policies on harassment, definitions of harassment, case studies showing what constitutes harassment, Panasonic internal regulations, and our in-house consultation framework. We are working to educate all employees on these points. Through the Equal Partnership Consultation Office, we also carry out training on harassment prevention and organize activities to help solve workplace issues and create a friendly work environment.
In addition, we have established a global hotline (with service in 28 languages) for our employees and external business partners. Reports can be made to this hotline whenever compliance violations (including human rights-related violations) are noticed or suspected. The hotline uses an external, unaffiliated system that does not identify the person making the report.

*LGBT: An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Participation in International and Industrial Partnerships

As a member of the Japanese Business Federation's task force on its Charter of Corporate Behavior, Panasonic partnered with other member companies to create the Implementation Guidance of a new human rights section on the Charter of Corporate Behavior, which was revised in 2017 for the first time in seven years.
Additionally, Panasonic took part in formulating the “Joint Declaration Toward Correcting Business Practices that Lead to Long Working Hours,” which was jointly issued in September 2017 by economic organizations, including the Japanese Business Federation, and various industry organizations such as the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).
Panasonic is an active member of JEITA, through which we actively strive to address the issues that our industry faces together with other companies in the electronics and IT industries. The JEITA CSR Committee, which Panasonic chairs, works with the EU, the OECD, and the ILO to promote the project on “Responsible Supply Chains in Asia”