Mitsui & Co. Allows All Employees to Work Side Jobs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The logo of Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui & Co. has introduced a new personnel system this year that allows all employees to take on a wide range of side jobs, including as a YouTuber or novelist, which are far beyond the scope of their main job.

By expanding the range of activities for employees, the company hopes to attract talented human resources and encourage them to use the knowledge and connections they have cultivated outside the company in their main business in the future.

This is the first time that a major trading company has allowed all employees to engage in a wide range of side jobs. In the past, the company has prohibited side jobs in principle, but has allowed them on an exceptional basis by setting a cap on remuneration in unavoidable cases.

This month, the company revised its internal guidelines on employment, allowing a wide range of side jobs on the condition that they are useful for the employee’s career development and that they are not primarily for remuneration.

The new system applies to the approximately 3,800 employees and contract employees who work mainly in Japan.

In addition to side jobs that require expertise — such as consulting, lecturing at universities, supporting startups and managing non-profit organizations — the new system also envisions individuals using their talents to work as painters and other such activities. It is also expected to have the effect of supplying human resources to other industries, as employees of trading companies with expertise in launching new businesses and management restructuring start their own side businesses.