Human Rights and LaborRespecting Human Rights

We strive to create workplaces where the rights of every employee are respected.

Basic Policy

The Canon Group Code of Conduct prohibits all Group executives and employees, irrespective of their position or duties, from engaging in discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, gender, age or other unfair grounds. The Code of Conduct has been translated into many languages and given out to Group executives and employees worldwide.

In addition, Canon has established the Canon Group Human Rights Policy. In line with its corporate philosophy of kyosei, Canon expresses its stance on human rights, including the commitment to human rights due diligence and respect for international norms, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This policy has been published in English and is available to employees worldwide through Canon's corporate website.

To further advance our CSR activities, in 2019 Canon joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). Going forward, we will increase our efforts to create a respectful work environment for each and every employee.

Framework for Identifying Human Rights Risks

All Canon Group companies manage human resources in compliance with the laws and regulations of each country and region in which they operate, as well as Canon’s own regulations.

Since 2013, we have been carrying out annual investigations at the Group’s main overseas manufacturing companies,* primarily in Asia, to confirm their compliance with laws pertaining to minimum working age and health considerations. In 2015, we developed labor guidelines in accordance with local social contexts and each company’s human resources management regulations. Results of investigations are shared with the Group Executive of Human Resources Management & Organization Headquarters and other related division heads. If an issue is identified, related divisions work together toward a swift resolution. To date, investigations have not identified any issues.

Canon Inc., Group companies in Japan, and major overseas sales companies also regularly conduct employee awareness surveys. Survey results are reported to management executives and shared with employees through the company intranet and other means. Furthermore, when an issue is identified, we take necessary action to change the corporate culture.

Since joining RBA, Canon has made use of the RBA's Self-Assessment Questionnaire. For existing business operations, the Group's main manufacturing companies seek to identify risks related to rights, labor standards, or safety and health, and establish response measures according to the seriousness of the risks that are identified. We also pay close attention to human rights when starting new businesses. For example, when undertaking M&A, we conduct preliminary investigations to check the legal and regulatory compliance regarding labor standards, occupational safety and health, etc., in each country as part of our due diligence process to ensure that companies newly joining the Group are not complicit in human rights abuses.

  • * Investigations cover more than 87% of employees at all Group overseas manufacturing companies (as of 2020 end).

Respecting Basic Workers' Rights, Including Freedom of Association

Canon respects freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining in accordance with local laws and regulations, and strives to resolve various labor issues by promoting dialogue between labor and management as stated in the Canon Human Rights Policy. For example, the labor agreement between Canon Inc. and the Canon Workers' Union commits both sides to work in good faith to peacefully resolve issues in a timely manner.

Preventing Harassment

Canon maintains a zero-tolerance policy on harassment, which it communicates to all management executives and employees.

In addition to sexual harassment and abuse of authority (power harassment), Canon Inc.’s employment rules and Harassment Prevention Provisions prohibit other forms of harassment, including maternity harassment. These provisions have been disseminated throughout Group companies in Japan, and many have instituted similar rules based on them.

In a further effort to maintain a comfortable workplace environment, Canon Inc. and its many Group companies in Japan have established a Harassment Hotline, and conduct information sharing at liaison meetings of the consultation staff. Confidentiality surrounding employee consultations is strictly maintained and a firm guarantee against detrimental treatment is provided to victims and informants. The number of harassment complaints has remained mostly unchanged in recent years.

In terms of preventing harassment, regular liaison meetings are held for persons responsible at Canon Inc. operational sites and Group companies in Japan, enabling the operational status of hotlines to be monitored and shared. Meeting participants review procedure manuals and share knowledge on how to respond to reports of harassment.

Educating Employees on Harassment Prevention

Canon conducts a variety of training programs and poster campaigns to raise awareness of harassment issues among employees.

Canon Inc. conducts harassment-prevention training for executives, managers, and managerial candidates. The aim is to develop measures to address decreased productivity due to deteriorating workplace conditions, mental health issues, occupational injuries, lawsuit risks, and corporate legal responsibilities. Training includes case studies of harassment incidents and how to handle reports of harassment. In 2020, 260 executives, managers, and managerial candidates working in Japan underwent training, while 20 employees returning from overseas postings underwent training. Furthermore, following a revision to Japanese law in June 2020, we developed e-learning materials for the purpose of properly understanding abuses of authority, and provided education to employees in Japan.

The same training and education programs are being extended to other Group companies, which are each implementing their own employee training.

Establishing Consultation Hotlines

At Canon, each Group company has a point of contact where employees can freely consult and submit reports about concerns in the workplace and work environment issues, including violations of the Canon Group Code of Conduct, the Canon Group Human Rights Policy and other policies and regulations related to human rights. Confidentiality is strictly protected, and care is taken to ensure that an employee does not receive unfair treatment for seeking consultation. Employees can arrange consultation sessions directly via the intranet without having to obtain the approval of a superior.

Grievance Mechanism

Canon has also established a point of contact for external stakeholders to report specific human rights concerns in the Canon Group's corporate activities. Canon will take appropriate steps to remedy the situation based on the factual investigation. In addition, the privacy of the users will be protected, and care is taken to ensure that users do not receive unfair treatment for making contact (e.g. users can make reports anonymously).