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Equal Gender Opportunity Initiatives

Childcare and Caregiver Leave Trends

Seiko Epson, an early advocate of equal opportunity employment, abolished gender-based difference in pay in 1983. And, the return-to-work rate for employees who have taken maternity and childcare leave in the 2013 fiscal year was 91% (and has averaged 95% since 1991, when the system was introduced). As of the end of April 2014, the average years of continuous service of our female employees was 21.8 years, exceeding the 18.7 years of our male employees. In Japan, Seiko Epson ranked 2nd in terms of average years of continuous service for female employees, according to a ranking published on August 31, 2013, by Toyo Keizai Inc.

Well-being leave program
Epson introduced a well-being leave program in March 1998 that allows employees who do not use all their annual paid vacation days during the year to stockpile the remainder, up to 60 days, in a separate account. They have the option of using well-being leave days in the event of personal injury or illness, or to care for children or family members, or to participate in school events for their children in elementary and middle school.

Monitoring and Controlling Working Hours

Epson remains fully compliant with labor laws. One of the ways we ensure compliance is by following an operations manual that Epson created to prevent excess overtime work. We have also deployed time management initiatives and monitoring systems across the organization. Epson has programs to build awareness among employees of the importance of regulating working hours appropriately and we are fully committed to maintaining a well-balanced working environment.

Work-Life Balance Initiatives

Next-generation accreditation mark

Epson, with one eye trained on the well-being and development of our children, allows employees to balance their careers with their personal lives so that they feel they can stay with the company. We enforce an eight-hour workday at least once per week at our sites, and an increasing number of sites have a day each year when parents can bring their children to work. Because of these and other initiatives, Epson is recognized for implementing policies that will benefit the next generation.

In October 2013 the lieutenant governor of Nagano Prefecture visited Seiko Epson, where she met with Noriyuki Hama, then chief administrative officer of the Human Resources Division, and Eiichi Abe, then general manager of the Human Resources Department, to push for further measures that would make Epson an even easier place for women to work and enjoy successful careers.

Following the meeting, the Human Resources Department interviewed female employees to hear what changes they think we could make to further facilitate the careers of female employees and create a more female-friendly workplace. Then, in April 2014, Human Resources conducted a survey of female employees. We will explore and plan to institute measures based on the findings from the interviews and survey.

Labor and Management Initiatives

Seiko Epson is a union shop whose employee union representatives work cooperatively with management to foster a better work environment. Joint committees are formed to discuss and finalize mutual resolutions to issues on a variety of topics, such as work systems, family support, and benefits and wages.

Main Employee Welfare and Benefits Systems (Japan)