A Japanese company gives non-smokers six days of paid vacation. This happens a year after they’ve complained that they work more than their smoker colleagues who go out for cigarette breaks, the Telegraph reported on Monday.
Piala Inc., a Tokyo-based marketing company, introduced this benefit in September, and all employees were anxious to take advantage of it.
“One of the company’s non-smokers has filed a notice earlier this year saying cigarette breaks are causing problems,” says Hirotaka Matsushima, spokesman for the company.
” Our Director saw the notification and agreed that non-smokers should receive extra time in compensation, ‘‘ Matsushma told The Telegraph.
The number of complains among non-smokers has increased because the company’s offices are located on the 29th floor in a building in Tokyo’s Ebisu building. Anyone who wants to smoke has to go to the basement, and every cigarette break takes about 15 minutes.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking by incentives rather than through constraints,” said Takao Asuka, Chief Executive Officer Piala Inc., for Kyodo News.
At least 30 of the company’s 120 employees have been taken days off since the new system was introduced, according to Matsushima, himself a non-smoker, who used his free days to go with his family to a thermal resort.
The initiative encouraged four people to quit smoking, he added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 21.7% of Japanese adults smoke, the percentage being higher among men and older people.
Japanese companies are stepping up their efforts to protect their employees from the effects of passive smoking, and in June, Lawson Inc., a supermarket chain, banned smoking at headquarters and regional offices.