A Japanese firm has given non-smoking employees an extra six days holiday a year to compensate for cigarette breaks.
As a non-smoker, you might find it a little unfair when some of your fellow employees break away from work a few times a day to get their nicotine fix.
If smokers are allowed short cigarette breaks at various times through the workday, should nonsmoking employees get the same perk?
Even better than a few short breaks a day – Japanese Marketing firm Piala Inc has introduced a new paid leave allowance after non-smokers complained that they were working more than their colleagues who smoked.
Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the Piala Inc, said: “One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems.”
The company’s CEO Takao Asuka responded to this suggestion by giving non-smoking employees extra time off.
Mr Asuka hopes that the scheme will act as an incentive for the staff to quit smoking.
In recent months, tougher anti-smoking regulations have been implemented across Japan to reduce the number of smokers.
Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike has made plans to ban smoking in public spaces across the Japanese capital ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
However, this proposal is likely to face strong opposition from pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and cigarette manufacturing giant Japan Tobacco, which is one third government-owned and paid the state £530m in dividends in 2015.
Japan is ranked at the bottom of the World Health Organisation’s list in anti-smoking regulations according to the type of public places entirely smoke-free and around 18 per cent of the Japanese population are smokers.
Also read: Smoking Breaks cost businesses £8.4bn
Image source: Independent