Fostering a Better Workplace
Improving the organizational climate
Epson seeks to create an environment that encourages free and constructive communication, thereby improving the quality of relationships and solidifying an organizational climate that promotes the continuous growth of both employees and the company.
To attain this goal, Epson began conducting annual employee surveys in 2005 to assess the workplace environment and employee motivation and, in 2020, replaced this survey with an organizational climate assessment survey.
Survey results are reported to the president and other members of executive management, and workplaces are provided with feedback. Managers of workplaces review and analyze the state of the organizational climate and incorporate actions to address problems and issues in action plans for the new fiscal year to improve the organizational climate and build stronger organizations.
In addition to actions taken to date, Epson began working in 2020 to improve the performance of the organization and team across the company, as this has been an area where scores have been low despite it being an important factor for improving the quality of relationships. Managers set specific action plans and targets, and they develop and implement activities in their departments based on these. To support management's efforts, the divisions hold meetings for manager discussions. These discussions serve as an opportunity for managers to gain insights into underlying problems and to encourage behavioral changes. In addition, Epson has set up an advisory service and arranges mentors for less experience managers.
We seek to create a satisfying work environment and toward that end are driving organizational climate innovations that include programs to address things such as health and productivity, diversity, and harassment prevention.
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 and is putting in place an environment that allows them to do so. 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 for a family tour.
Childbirth and Childcare Support
To create an environment that allows all employees to advance their careers if they wish to do so, we are strengthening childcare support equally for both men and women so that they can continue to work after the birth of a child. We offer time off, leaves of absence, shorter working hours and other benefits so that they can give attention to their children and achieve a healthy work-life balance.
The results are reflected in the high rate of employees who take childcare leave and eventually return to work, as well as in the number of years they stay with the company. In recent years, nearly 100% of women have opted to take childcare leave.
Childcare Leave Trends
|FY||Childcare Leave||Employees using parental reduced hours|
|Total*1||Women||Ratio of women granted leave*2||Men*3|
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 20, 2021.
*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
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 20, 2021.
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.
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.
- We contracted with an outside advisory service that employees can privately consult about caregiving issues.
- 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)
Remote work system
Seiko Epson introduced a system in FY2018 that gives time-constrained employees the opportunity to work from home so that they can provide care to dependents, including children and other sick or ill family members. In 2020, the remote work option was expanded to encompass all employees. This allows employees to work from home even if they are not constrained by childcare or nursing/caregiving responsibilities.
Employees can also work remotely from approved locations outside the home, providing even greater flexibility. Or, when their child gets sick, they can work a certain minimum number of hours while their children are sleeping. Whereas parents previously may have had to take paid leave for these situations, they now can work more flexibly around them.
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.
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
Epson has been driving work reforms since 2017. In Phase I (FY2017-2019), we prioritized the optimization of working hours and the prevention of long working hours. In Phase II (FY2020-2022), we have been introducing a wider range of work arrangement options. Epson is engaged in medium- and long-term efforts to realize the corporate vision, stated in Epson 25 Renewed, of achieving sustainability and enriching communities, and, recognizing the urgent need to create an environment in which a diverse workforce can work most effectively. In conjunction with this, Epson introduced more flexible work hours and remote work options, including work from home, and the company examined changes to the way it manages human resources (encompassing things such as changes to team building, operations management, personnel evaluations/appraisals, and human resource development). It also expanded and improved support for management to cope with these changes, as well as support for employees who are trying to balance work with childcare, nursing responsibilities, or medical treatment.
Work reform targets
We have set the following work reform targets:
FY2021 : Annual Total Working Hours 1,850 hours, Number of Paid Leave Used 18days
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
FY2020 actual: 1,848 hours * Impacted by COVID-19
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%)
FY2020 actual: 15.9 days (79.5%)
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, Epson pays its people based on the principle of equal pay for equal work, regardless of type of employment, as required by law. The wage system does not discriminate by age or gender.
In Japan, for regular employees who are not in management positions, we have introduced a qualified grade-based system wherein compensation is determined by the employee's job and competencies. For leaders, 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 suitability of non-management employee and leader 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: 86.5%
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||Subsidies for commuting expenses (gasoline costs, highway tolls, commuter passes, etc.)|
|Insurance||Group life insurance, corporate group insurance, income insurance|
|Other||Employee cafeterias, employee stock ownership plan, long-term service award, etc.|