Japanese company offers extra days off to workers who don't smoke

Ray Weaver
November 4, 2017

After hearing about the complaint, the company's CEO, Takao Asuka, chose to give nonsmoking employees time off to compensate.

The company said an employee had complained that their colleagues who smoked often worked less because they took smoking breaks throughout the day. Marketing firm Piala Inc introduced the new policy in September after staff expressed frustration that some colleagues were on constant smoke breaks.

The company granted non-smoking staff an additional six days off each year to make up for the time smokers take for cigarette breaks.

Non-smokers always talk about the extra time smokers take off from work, which they are deprived.

Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO, told Kyodo News, "I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion".

The corporate planning director for Piala, Hirotaka Matsushima, said Thursday that the company began offering the six days of extra vacation to all of its 120 staff members in September.

In an effort to convince more of its workers to quit smoking and improve their health, one Japanese company believes it may have found a winning incentive: an extra week of paid vacation. Many workplaces, along with bars and restaurants, still have smoking rooms.

Over 20% of Japanese adults smoke, according to World Health Organisation figures, although the habit is more prevalent among men and the older generation.

Naturally, the resentment among the non-smokers grew as the company's head office is on the 29th floor of an office block in the Ebisu district of Tokyo.

Despite a downward trend in recent years in the use of tobacco products in Japan, nearly 20 percent of the population still smokes.

In July, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike made plans to impose a smoking ban in public places across the Japanese capital ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Other reports by Insurance News

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