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Labor Practices

Basic Principle

The “K” Line Group takes a firm stand in the first part of its Charter of Conduct that it will consistently respect human rights and well consider personality, individuality and diversity of its corporate members and improve work safety and conditions to offer them comfort and affluence.

Particularly, eradication of occupational accidents is the fundamental for safe and economical operation. In order to raise each member’s safety awareness and secure the safety on board, the Company has introduced safety experience trainings and/or hazard prediction trainings. In addition, the Company gathers examples of incidents, through near-miss reports, etc., that have not been tangible but have had potential risks. Such information is shared internally so that it may help enhanced safety in navigation and cargo operations.

In the meantime, the “K” Line Group strives not to violate fundamental rights of seafarers on board by complying with Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC2006). The convention was adopted in February 2006 by the International Labour Organization (ILO), as a comprehensive international employment convention containing seafarers’ fundamental rights set out below;

  1. Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  2. The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
  3. The effective abolition of child labour; and
  4. The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Personnel Data

Personnel Data 

Work-Life Balance

Systems for Comfortable and Fulfilling Working Experiences

Our Actions for Enabling Work-Life Balance

We have been very successful in establishing an excellent relationship with our labor union, and we are jointly seeking any opportunity to realize better working environment and measures that enable “Work-Life Balance.”

Naming a few includes mandating every employee take at least 5 days of annual leaves; implementation of infertility treatment leave, maternity leave and child care leave. Other than child care leave, we have also implemented child care leave exclusively for fathers which enables fathers to take 5 consecutive leaves to participate in their child cares.In addition, we have also established various systems such as shorter working hours and flex-time systems to promote our employees’ work-life balance.

As a result of our various actions, we have been certified with “Kurumin” by the Tokyo Labour Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan as a Childcare Support Company under the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children..

Creation of opportunities for seafarers to contact family while duty on board

As the number of ships that call at Japanese ports decreases, our crew members have fewer opportunities to contact their families. Therefore, we have made it possible for them to contact family by e-mail and satellite telephone while working at sea. The number of ships under our operation that are installed with Internet devices for 24-hour connection is increasing, which makes it possible to use not only e-mail but also Internet telephone on some ships.

We provide our crew with opportunities to meet their families at ports of call, both domestic and overseas. For our crew members on ships that do not make port calls in Japan, we provide financial aid for family travel in order to promote family reunions abroad. We also have a program that allows our crew members to board ships together with their families for a set period of time in order to reduce the time they spend apart from their families.

Living Environment on the Ship

A Living Environment that Keeps Our Crew Members Refreshed

Living environment on the ships is another important factor which influences work-life balance. Working on a ship, which includes being on watch and other operations, can sometimes lead to fatigue. We strive to create a living environment abroad ship that closely resembles living on land, so that crew members can stay refreshed. Providing good audio-visual entertainment equipment and expanding means of communicating with families is one part of that effort. We also provide training to ship’s cooks so that they can maintain the good health of crew members by providing healthy menus.

Respect for Diversity

The “K” Line has been increasing diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and so on, corresponding to the globalization of its business activities, expecting that improved diversity may contribute to creation of new ideas that may result in future business developments and sustainable growth of the company. It will continue improvement of HR systems and work environments so that it can support and promote diversity further.

  • The ratio of female managers (as of March 31, 2017): 3.67%
  • The ratio of persons with disabilities (as of March 31, 2017): 2.29%

Expansion of women and foreign nationality employment opportunities

As of November 2015, seven (7) women seafarers belong to the Company, of whom one (1) works at the head office and another one at an affiliated company abroad, both on shore duties. We expect they may take more active parts at both onboard and at offices.

The nationalities of seafarers on board vary, and those from Asian countries such as Japan, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and China, and from European countries such as Bulgaria and Croatia, are working on board as one to maintain safety in navigation and cargo operations for the “K” Line fleet around the clock.

Trainings of Seafarers other than the Japanese

The “K” Line group provides graduates from maritime schools around the world with opportunities of onboard training as cadets to fulfill the requirements for obtaining seafarers’ licenses, and develops them as officer candidates. In addition, it provides training programs at training facilities called “K” Line Maritime Academies located in various countries where it develops human resources who can contribute to safe navigation and economical operation of the “K” Line fleet, both onboard and at offices.

Respecting Fundamental Labor Rights

We have worked to build good relationships between labor and management to maintain/improve the work environment. We have improved support systems, including those for maintaining work-life balance, by incorporating into the systems ideas born from constructive discussion between both parties.

Occupational Health and Safety

Management System

We strive to continuously improve health and safety at the office and employees’ mental & physical health. The Company has established a Health Enhancement Committee, chaired by an Executive Officer in charge of Human Resources (Overall Health Controller), which functions as health committee required by Industrial Safety and Health Law.

     【Health Enhancement Committee

The committee convenes once a month,studies and deliberates employees’ health maintenance and improvement, including office environment, health and safety, training, prevention of infectious diseases. After each meeting, the minutes are uploaded on the company’s internal website for the employees’ information.


 【Seafarers Safety and Hygiene

Based on laws, we set up a system for safety and hygiene for seafarers’, with a hygiene committee on shore and a vessel safety and hygiene committee on the vessels. We promote operational safety and hygiene in cooperation with ship management companies and relevant departments.The vessel safety and hygiene committee studies and deliberates how to best maintain  seafarers’ living and working conditions onboard, prevention of occurrences and/or recurrences that may damage seafarers’ health as well as training in safety and hygiene.

We were certified as a good company for seafarers’ industrial accident prevention in 2008. Details are as follows: (Japanese)

Safety and Health Considerations

Physical examination

We require employees to receive a physical examination once a year and we assist with the cost for those who wish for a second examination. Thus we proactively support our employees’ health management.We have a medical clinic at the head office that provides medical examinations and employees can visit a doctor when they are not feeling well. In addition, we have a health keeper who provides massages to help them recover from fatigue and relieve

Mental health

 In order to assist with mental health issues, we have adopted a stress check program on the Internet with which employees can manage their own mental health and improve their stress tolerance.   Mental health seminars were held for executives and employees at the Tokyo head office in the 2016 fiscal year. In addition, we have prepared various support systems such as consultation for mental health by a medical specialist and the EPA (Employee Assistance Program) system as an external counselor to care for employees’ physical and mental conditions.

Percentage of trainees in mental health seminar in 2016

Seminar title

Target persons

Percentage of trainees

Self-care program

Executives and employees


Line-care program

Managerial posts


Seafarers must attend mental health seminars, including line-care and self-care, in order to learn how to take care of themselves and their subordinates.We support their life and operations under the special environment while both living and working aboard ship.

Prevention of overworking

We stress prevention of overworking and provide an opportunity for explanation about relevance of health and overworking to managerial posts. Diligent duty of managerial posts is especially being continuously enlightened.We conduct ourselves according to appropriate labor management. We introduced a labor management and reporting system, aimed at preventing overwork, by considering the appropriate amount of work to be assigned to each worker onboard our vessels.

Health support for overseas assignees

We support the taking of a medical examination and vaccinations for employees who are transferring overseas, including their family, and after being posted overseas, they can also receive support from emergency medical assistance companies that cooperate with us.

Safety and hygiene guidance by visiting vessels

Safety manager provides directions for safety control and health care. In addition, when visiting a vessel in the port, it is not only these directions but also mental care by personal interview. Moreover, we recommend radio exercise before working onboard for the purpose of preventing industrial accidents.

Initiatives for industrial accident prevention

For seafarer efforts to prevent industry accidents onboard, a working control committee meets once a month and a working meeting is held every morning before work.During working hours, we instruct that not only paste reflective tapes on work clothes and helmets be used but also assure there is sufficient lighting. In addition, safety manager regularly calls attention to industry accidents, safety and hygiene by sending out letters.  Also the seafarers must take various seminars related to safety and hygiene. 

Basic safety work seminar

Accident prediction training seminar

Accident prediction training seminar for instructors

Mental healthcare seminar

Safety experience seminar

Prevention of infection

We assist with the cost for vaccination to prevent infection such as influenza. And we also inform employees to promote having vaccinations on the inner portal site every year.In addition, seafarers must take yellow fever vaccination because their vessels usually stop at foreign ports around the world.

Initiatives to address Global Health Issues

Formulating a Pandemic Influenza Response Operation Plan

Our company is a designated public institution specified in the Act on Special Measures for Preparedness and Response against Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases (Act No.31 of 2012). The Act requests designated public institutions to take appropriate measures to prevent disruption to the operation of the business, and to continue the business even in an event of pandemic influenza outbreak to minimize its effect on the people’s living and national economy.

The Act also requests designated public institutions to formulate a pandemic influenza preparedness and response operation plan for their business, to report the plan to the Prime Minister of Japan, and to publish the outline of the plan.

In accordance with this provision of the Act our company has formulated a “Pandemic Influenza Response Operation Plan”. The outline is shown below.

Pandemic Influenza Response Operation Plan 


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