Honda Motor Co. plans to substantially expand telecommuting next month under a work-style reform initiative, it has been learned.

The automaker will expand access to the telecommuting system to young workers, allowing about 33,000 employees to work from home instead of 19,000, informed sources said Friday. The measure is intended to increase motivation.

It will also allow the use of the system to be combined with its short-time working system, which is for employees raising children or taking care of aging parents or other family members, the sources said.

In addition, some will be allowed to work at places other than their homes, such as shared offices, cafes and libraries, the sources said. Honda is aiming to raise productivity and prevent turnover by creating an environment in which all employees can work more flexibly, the sources said.

As an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, Honda asked all 2,000 or so of its employees in Tokyo to work at home, in principle, in late February. The drastic review of its teleworking system was under study even before the outbreak took hold in Japan.

Both men and women will be able to take up to five days of paid leave a year for fertility treatment, the sources said. In addition, a system will be adopted in April to grant leaves of absence lasting up to six months for the treatment of diseases.

In the meantime, Honda’s in-house regulations will be revised to recognize common-law marriages and make employees with same-sex partners eligible to receive the same welfare benefits for spouses as employees with legal spouses do, the sources said.

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