Kirin now offers parental leave for same-sex couples and medical leave for transgender employees
Michaela Morgan

27 Jul 2017 - 1:30 PM  UPDATED 27 Jul 2017 - 1:30 PM

Kirin Holdings has announced new guidelines that recognise the rights of LGBT+ employees and protect them from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The beer company released a statement saying that workers in same-sex relationships will now have access to the same benefits as their straight colleagues—including parental leave, bereavement leave and company housing.

Transgender employees will also be able to access 60 days of medical leave, to give them the time to undergo gender confirmation surgery or hormone therapy—the first time this has been on offer.

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“The Group (Kirin Holdings) has been engaged in efforts related to LGBT issues, such as raising awareness with employees, human rights training, inclusion polices, and so on,” the company’s statement reads.

It goes on to say that subsidiary company Spring Valley Company has been promoting diversity through exhibiting at Tokyo Rainbow Pride.

“Furthermore, we will work to nurture talented personnel who can further understand the diversity of customers and customers’ interests, such as doing in-house workshops inviting external parties with LGBT as a theme,” the statement continues. 

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The new guidelines mean that Kirin is leaps and bounds ahead of Japan—a country that currently has no anti-discrimination laws in place for the LGBT+ community in the workplace.

Kirin is the second-largest beer producer in Japan and employs 20,000 people in Japan.

In recognising the rights of its LGBT+ employees, Kirin follows the lead of other global companies in Japan such as Panasonic, IBM and Sony.

“The Kirin Group will create a new drink culture with our customers and will further enhance our vitality and refreshment to people and society,” the statement ends.