Nissan Motor said it planned to promote all contract workers in Japan to full-time employees later this year, according to local reports.

Company spokesperson Azusa Momose confirmed to local reporters that, from the beginning of the next fiscal year, which starts on 1 April 2021, around 800 contract workers at its domestic manufacturing plants, R&D centres and head office in Yokohama would be offered permanent jobs at the company. 

The move follows a year of extensive cost-cutting at the carmaker’s global operations, involving the closure of an number of under-utilised plants and its withdrawal from unprofitable markets, with the aim of cutting JPY300bn (US$2.9bn) in annual operating costs. 

The restructuring so far is said to have freed up cash to invest more in personnel and the company was looking to increase its ability to retain skilled people.

The reports also suggested Nissan had decided to stop hiring contract [aka temporary] workers altogether which will inevitably increase overall HR costs at the company.

Momose confirmed the change in policy “will help enhance workplace unity, increase operational efficiency, improve employee motivation and enable further upskilling of our workforce”.

Nissan Motor expects to make a net loss of JPY615bn in the current fiscal year, however, and its new employment policy would make it harder for the company to cut costs in Japan if it needs to do so in  future.