Non-smokers’ perks: Japanese firm gives six extra days leave to compensate for cigarette breaks
Did you ever resent your colleagues for the countless number of times they stepped out for cigarette breaks? Finally, there is hope that you will be rewarded.world Updated: Nov 01, 2017 11:04 IST
Did you ever resent your colleagues for the countless number of times they stepped out for cigarette breaks?
Finally, there is hope that you will be rewarded. A Japanese company is granting non-smoking employees extra six days of paid holidays a year.
The decision at a Tokyo-based marketing firm, Piala Inc, came after someone from a non-smoker staff put a message in its suggestion box complaining that they were working more than their colleagues, who took regular cigarette breaks.
Piala Inc’s chief executive Takao Asuka, a non-smoker, decided to take the suggestion and compensate his employees.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Asuka told Kyodo News.
According to a Telegraph report, the firm is based on the 29th floor of an office block and staff say any cigarette break lasts at least 15 minutes.
The non-smokers’ perk, which was introduced in September, has prompted four people to give up smoking and 30 of the company’s 120 employees have availed the additional days off under the new scheme.
But Piala Inc isn’t the only company to regulate in-house smoking as the Japanese government is working to prevent second-hand smoking in the country ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Kyodo News reported that convenience store chain Lawson Inc introduced an all-day ban on smoking at its offices in June. It was done “with an eye toward lowering the ratio of smokers to its entire workforce by around 10 percentage points in fiscal 2018 from 33 percent in fiscal 2016”.
Japan, which has the reputation of being a smoker’s paradise, has seen strong anti-smoking campaigns in the past. Earlier this year, campaigners called on the government to make restaurants and bars smoke-free in time for the Tokyo Olympics.