Fostering a Better Workplace
Equal Gender Opportunity Initiatives
Seiko Epson, an early advocate of equal opportunity employment in Japan, abolished gender-based difference in pay in 1983. In addition, we aim to provide equal gender opportunity at the time of childbirth and childcare. The results of our initiatives show up in the numbers, such as the duration of service and the rate at which mothers return to work after taking childcare leave. Moreover, nearly 100% of employees take parental leave.
Childcare Leave Trends
|Total*1||Women||Ratio of women granted leave*2||Men*3|
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 20, 2020.
*1 Including individuals who took well-being leave.
*2 Number of individuals granted childcare leave/ eligible individuals.
(Individuals who have had a child and are eligible for childcare leave)
*3 Numbers in parentheses indicate employees who took special paid leave.
Caregiver Leave Trends
|FY||Caregiver Leave||Employees using caregiver reduced hours|
|2019||6 (Men 4, Women 2)||4|
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 20, 2020.
Epson's Wellbeing Leave Program
Seiko Epson introduced a special paid 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 special paid 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.
Work-Life Balance Initiatives
Recognizing the importance of the well-being and development of our children, Epson encourages employees to balance their careers with their personal lives. We enforce an eight-hour no overtime workday at least once per week at our sites in Japan, and an increasing number of sites have a day each year when parents can bring their children to work. To create an environment suitable for both male and female employees who want to pursue a career, we are working to support childcare. From October 2005, we have offered subsidies for babysitting services. We have gradually increased the subsidy, and currently we pay the full amount for up to 16 hours. We are working to provide an environment that makes it easier for working parents to raise children. For example, in April 2018, we introduced a telecommuting program for employees who are caring for dependent family members, and in April 2020 revised our family allowance policy to provide more generous financial assistance to employees with children.
Responding to employee caregiver needs
With advancing population aging, the number of people requiring care is on the rise. Consequently, the number of employees acting as caregivers for their families is also on the rise. Aiming to eliminate turnover due to caregiver needs, Epson provides the following types of support to caregivers.
- Launched a website related to caregiving to provide information related to in-house programs and nursing care insurance systems.
- Conducting nursing care preparation seminars to equip employees with the knowledge that will enable them to respond calmly to sudden nursing care needs.
- Enable the use of the following programs to support balance between work and caregiving.
|Caregiver leave||May take up to 1 year and 6 months per applicable family member|
|Caregiver reduced hours||Available for up to 3 years from start of use|
|Caregiver overtime exemption||Exempt employees from overtime exceeding nominal hours|
|Caregiver overtime restriction||Restricts employee overtime to less than 24 hours per month or
150 hours per year
|Caregiver night shift restriction||Restricts night shift assignments for employee|
|Caregiver telecommuting program||Enables telecommuting up to limited time specific for each work shift|
|Caregiver leave||Allows employee to take 5 days/year for 1 applicable family member or
10 days/year for 2 applicable family members as caregiver leave (unpaid)
Seiko Epson conducts family tours every August. Children of employees visit the company, see our products, make fans using paper printed from an Epson printer, assemble watches, use the employee cafeteria, and participate in other events that show them what Epson is like.
Employees can use babysitters at company expense.
Certification as an "Eruboshi" Company
On July 11, 2016, the Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare granted Seiko Epson the top "Eruboshi" mark in recognition of its efforts as a good company to promote the active participation and advancement of women in the workplace.
The Ministry established the Eruboshi mark in February 2016 based on the newly enacted Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace. Companies that draw up and submit an action plan and meet certain standards are eligible to receive the mark if they have demonstrated successful efforts to promote the advancement of women. Companies that apply for the mark are graded on five criteria and awarded one of three levels of certification depending on how many of the criteria they satisfy. Seiko Epson, which met all five criteria, was certified to receive the Grade 3 Eruboshi mark*1.
Seiko Epson launched a project to step up its initiatives related to women's advancement. Through such programs as setting up discussions between female employees and management and establishing a new mechanism that enable people to continue working while they provide care for elderly relatives, the company intends not only to help women continue working, but also to provide an environment where women who want careers can advance into leadership roles.
*1 The criteria are recruitment, continued employment, working hours, percentage of women in managerial positions, and diversity of career courses.
Certification as a Kurumin and Platinum Kurumin Company
As a result of Epson's efforts to establish a friendly workplace environment, we were awarded use of the so-called Kurumin symbol from 2007 and the Platinum Kurumin symbol in 2016. Use of these symbols is awarded by the Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to companies that implement policies that support the parenting of their employees in accordance with the Act on Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation.
Selected for “Nadeshiko Brand” and “Semi-Nadeshiko Brand” for three consecutive years
Since FY2012, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry working in collaboration with the Tokyo Stock Exchange names companies serving as examples of enterprises that encourage women’s success as Nadeshiko Brands and Semi-Nadeshiko Brands. Nadeshiko-Brands and Semi-Nadeshiko Brands are promoted to investors focused on medium- to long-term corporate value growth as appealing listed companies that encourage women’s success. This encourages investment in Nadeshiko Brands, which in turn accelerate the initiatives of these companies.
Seiko Epson has been selected for inclusion to the list of Nadeshiko Brands and Semi-Nadeshiko Brands, an honor bestowed on companies that demonstrate excellence in encouraging the empowerment of women in the workplace for the third consecutive year since FY2017. Seiko Epson was recognized for implementing higher quality initiatives to empower women in order to produce greater business success. These actions include work reforms and initiatives to change the thinking with regard to the role of women in the workplace. They, along with changes in the system of tests for promotion, are designed to facilitate the advancement of women and to encourage more women to seek management positions.
Monitoring and Controlling Working Hours
Epson specifies its work goals and work culture. Our goal is for all employees to maintain and improve their physical and mental health while working efficiently in a vital, rewarding work environment, without excessive labor demands. In this way, the company will develop in perpetuity, raising its corporate value and ensuring a win-win relationship with its employees.
We have put in place numerous actions to track and control working hours. In addition to ensuring reasonable working hours and legal compliance by familiarizing employees with an operations manual for managing working hours, we have installed automated systems to track time and attendance to assure that employees do not exceed set limits on working hours. We also frequently remind them in various ways of the importance of maintaining reasonable working hours.
Work reform actions
From fiscal 2017, we have been taking comprehensive work reform actions. The goals are to revise our approach to work and seek to improve the productivity of executives, managerial staff, and general staff in their respective positions, thereby achieving an appropriate work-life balance and a state in which our diverse employees can work with enthusiasm to realize the Epson 25 Corporate Vision.
Promoting work reform
Seiko Epson has been promoting work reform since the 2017 fiscal year under a program called "WILL BE."*1 All aspects of the way we work are examined to look for opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve the Epson 25 Corporate Vision by changing the way we approach work and raising personnel productivity, from top to bottom, thereby achieving a healthy work-life balance and a vibrant workplace environment in which our diverse employees can excel. As a result, we are seeing total working hours decrease each year, fostering mindfulness about working efficiently, and reducing the risk of health impairments.
*1 Work-Life Balance, Innovation, Liveliness, Enjoyment
Work reform targets
We have set the following work reform targets:
Annual Total Working Hours per Employee
FY2016 actual: 2,001 hours
FY2017 actual: 1,971 hours
FY2018 actual: 1,943 hours
FY2019 actual: 1,879 hours
Number of paid leave used
FY2016 actual: 12.6 days (use rate of 63.0%)
FY2017 actual: 14.0 days (70.0%)
FY2018 actual: 13.9 days (69.5%)
FY2019 actual: 15.6 days (78.0%)
*The FY2020 targets will be set once we have a clearer picture of the effect of the new coronavirus.
Epson's wage standards are compliant with the local labor regulations in the countries where we operate. Our standards provide for things such as suitable wages, allowances, and extraordinary pay.
In Japan, for staff members among non-management employees, we have introduced a qualified grade-based system wherein compensation is determined by the employee's job and competencies. For senior staff members, we have a system wherein the compensation is determined by their job, which is given based on their competencies, and the level of roles they are fulfilling. We have a role-based grade system for managers wherein compensation is determined by the size of the person's role. The wage system does not discriminate by gender. The suitability of non-management employee wages and the wage system are reviewed once a year by a committee made up of members of management and the labor union.
In every country and region outside Japan, we establish rules that are compliant with all local wage-related regulations governing things such as minimum wages, legal benefits, and overtime. Wages, deductions, and so forth are calculated based on these rules, and employees receive an electronic or printed pay stub showing the details of each pay period. Payment is made on directly to employees on the appointed date.
As a union shop, Seiko Epson requires all regular employees, except those in management or in certain other management-related positions, to join the labor union.*1
A labor-management council forms the basis of the labor-management relationship. Held regularly and as needed, this council is where management explains important management matters to labor union representatives and where the two sides discuss proposed changes to employment conditions. In addition to the labor-management council, Seiko Epson has formed labor-management committees, the safety and health committee, as well as some other committees, to discuss and solve issues related to things such as working styles, family support, and benefits and wages.
Informal discussions are also held on the division and department level to provide a venue for bidirectional communication between employees and managers. Management communicates its thoughts and wishes to employees as well as get direct feedback from them.
*1 Rate of joining the labor union among all regular employees: 85.9%
Main Employee Welfare and Benefits Systems (Japan)
|Category||Description of System|
|Childcare||Childcare leave, shorter work hours for parents, home care service|
|Caregiving||Caregiver leave, shorter work hours for caregivers, care insurance|
|Retirement||Retirement benefits (defined cntribution pension plan, corporate defined benefit pension plan), asset-building pension scheme, etc.|
|Wellness||Personal injury or illness leave, in-house therapy (massages), special paid leave, payment of additional amount to defray costs of injury, illness and child-rearing, subsidies for general medical checkups|
|Training||Subsidies for passing national exams, work-related correspondence courses, etc.|
|Housing||Company housing, property accumulation savings incentives, etc.|
|Commuting||Commuting expenses (commuter passes, gasoline costs, highway tolls, etc.)|
|Insurance||Group life insurance, corporate group insurance, income insurance|
|Other||Employee cafeterias, employee stock ownership plan, long-term service award, etc.|
Improving Workplace Communication
At Epson, we aim, as individuals and organizations, to cooperate with one another as we pursue challenging objectives and to maintain a state of free and constructive communication.
To see where we are in meeting these objectives, we have been conducting employee surveys every year since 2005. The survey results are reported to the president and other top executives. Feedback is provided on the department level, and managers periodically review and analyze the state of their departments. They decide on measures to solve problems and issues with the goal of fostering a better culture and strengthening the organization. These measures are incorporated into action plans at the start of the new fiscal year.
These actions are carried out throughout the year, the results are checked in the next survey, and additional actions are taken to maintain the good and improve the bad.