Softbank Corp. announced on Tuesday that its profits for the first three quarters of the current fiscal year rose 63 percent over the same period in fiscal 2008. Nice going in this particular environment; which automatically raises the question: What is the company going to do with all that money in terms of the people who work for them?
Actually, Softbank and its group companies — Softbank Mobile, Softbank BB and Softbank Telecom — have a corporate policy that stresses the importance of its employees’ lives while addressing social problems such as the declining birthrate. That’s why Softbank introduced the shussan iwai-kin (birth celebration money) system some years ago and even upgraded it in April 2007. With this system, full-time employees who have worked for the company at least one year are given a bonus of ¥50,000 when they have their first child, ¥100,000 when they have their second child, ¥1,000,000 for the third, ¥3,000,000 for the fourth, and ¥5,000,000 for the fifth.
So far there has only been one employee who has scored the jackpot with a fifth kid, but since 2007 there have been 12 who have claimed the ¥3,000,000 bonus with their respective fourth offsprings. There are other companies that also offer bonuses for babies, but I can’t find any that provide these big payouts for fourth and fifth births.
Pretty sweet, and certainly a good reason to stay with Softbank if you’re planning a big family. But how is Softbank in terms of maternity and paternity leaves, which is another gauge of corporate concern for employee welfare? A closer look at the company’s home page revealed this: