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. In fact, as of March 20, 2018, women stay with Epson longer than men on average (22.1 years for women versus 19.0 years for men).
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. Company housing next to the workplace is made available as childcare space to maintain the privacy of employees' homes. From April 2018, we introduced a telecommuting system for employees on childcare leave or caregiver leave.
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.
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.
Named Nadeshiko Brand for FY2017
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. 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 accelerates the initiatives of these companies. In FY2017, which marks the 6th year of the Nadeshiko Brand listing, Epson was praised for implementing initiatives that encourage more advanced success for women with the goal of producing operational results.
Our selection to the list of Nadeshiko Brands FY2017 was based on a recognition of our various efforts. We established a Women's Advancement Project as an initiative to promote advancement by a diverse range of personnel. We implement various policies related to both career support and work-life balance and provide leadership training for advancement into managerial roles. We were also recognized for our employee networking support.
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.
Epson is fully compliant with labor laws. One of the ways we ensure compliance is by following an operations manual for managing working hours. We have also implemented time management initiatives and monitoring systems across the organization in Japan. 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 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.
The program is called "WILL BE" and we will reorganize work.
*Work-Life Balance, Innovation, Liveliness, Enjoy
Work reform targets
We have set the following work reform targets:
Annual Total Working Hours per Employee
FY2016 actual: 2,001 hours
FY2017 target: 1,970 hours -> actual: 1,971 hours
FY2018 target: 1,905 hours
Number of paid leave used
FY2016 actual: 12.6 days (use rate of 63.0%)
FY2017 target: 13.3 days (66.5%) -> actual: 14.0 days (70%)
We will aim for increasing the use rate in an effort to reduce annual total working hours in FY2018.
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.
Outside Japan, we have established and we follow rules that are in compliance with all local wage-related regulations governing things such as minimum wages, legal benefits, and overtime. We provide employees, who are paid directly, with pay slips on a certain date for each predetermined pay period.
In countries and regions where employees may legally be subjected to financial penalties for disciplinary reasons, Epson does not prohibit such penalties but allows them as one option, provided that disciplinary procedures and financial penalties do not overstep legal bounds or have an unreasonable effect on the employee's living standard. These are articulated in internal regulations, and employees are apprised of them in advance.
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 to discuss and solve issues related to things such as working styles, family support, and benefits and wages.
*1 Rate of joining the labor union among all regular employees: 85.5%