Our Codes of Conduct

Living our Codes of Conduct

Our Codes of Conduct guides us to conduct business ethically and be a responsible corporate citizen. We ensure that they are communicated on effectively throughout the entire business by running various training courses for employees.

Our employees sign an acknowledgment form to show their commitment to following our Codes of Conduct.

We continuously review and update our Codes of Conduct to improve our standards, and the latest revision took place in 2018. In our international tobacco business, we have digitalized the Code into an accessible, easy-to-read document, including a decision-making guide to assist employees in making the right choices. It is now available in 40 languages, and we provide printed booklets for those with limited internet access.

We continued to provide training on the Codes of Conduct to our employees online and face-to-face in 2019. In our Japanese operations, 99.7% of employees completed the online courses *C. In our international tobacco business, we launched a new interactive Code of Conduct video in 25 languages to guide employees to make the right choices. For employees without computer access, we have adopted a Train-the-Trainer approach. So far we have trained 59 local trainers, who provided face-to-face training in local languages to 6,274 employees, including those from all our newly acquired entities in the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

In our Japanese operations, the survey outcomes are reported to each executive officer and to each department. The relevant departments then introduce measures in their Annual Compliance Action Plans to address any issues raised, using quantitative targets to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures. In 2019, 95.8% of employees completed the survey.

Living our Codes of Conduct

In our Japanese operations, the latest survey results showed harassment* and unpaid overtime as the most important concerns. We have provided support for the JT Group companies to comply with the ‘Work Style Reform Act’ and monitored overtime hours in each department. We will continue to monitor progress and make every effort to improve the situation in these two key areas.

In our international tobacco business, the Employee Engagement Survey covers compliance questions. It is distributed every three years, and the last one was completed in 2018. The results showed that, since the previous survey was carried out, the Code of Conduct is more widely understood by employees and enforced by line managers. A total of 90% of respondents agreed that their direct supervisor reinforces the importance of adherence to compliance and ethical standards, compared to 85% in the previous survey (2014).

* Harassment includes sexual harassment and bullying.
Reporting concerns

Reporting concerns

Across the JT Group, each of our operating companies has specially trained members who handle compliance matters. If an employee is concerned about a potential violation of our Code of Conduct, they can contact their line manager, HR lead, or a member of the compliance team. Employees in Japan receive a booklet explaining the process for reporting concerns. We also provide an external concern-reporting service run by an independent provider. Every reported concern and investigation report is treated on a strictly confidential basis.

Reporting concerns
* We distribute a Reporting Concerns Booklet to our employees in which they can find detailed information about the process for reporting concerns
We offer multiple communication channels for employees, customers, and business partners to confidentially raise concerns about potential violations of our Codes of Conduct or policies. We review all concerns raised, launch investigations as needed, and take appropriate corrective actions.

Employees are informed about our Reporting Concerns Mechanism through various channels, including the Group intranet. In 2018, our Japanese operations made the Mechanism available in four additional languages (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Nepalese) to meet the needs of our diverse workforce.

Any concerns are then dealt with by specially trained contact persons, who all follow a mandatory face-to-face training course.
Revenue breakdown by business segment
*There were no cases related to anti-competitive behavior in 2018 and 2019.
In our international tobacco business, there is a Reporting Concerns Mechanism called Your Voice, which is available in 16 languages. Employees are able to report concerns via multiple channels including designated trained contact persons.

In 2019, we received 723 reports accross the JT Group, covering issues such as labor practices and discrimination. In the case of proven violations of our Codes of Conduct, we took appropriate action in the form of dismissal, verbal or written warnings, financial penalties, or other measures.