Japanese Company Rewards Non-Smoking Employees With Six Paid Holidays Each Year

Japanese marketing company Piala Inc. is giving their non-smoking employees six paid leave as part of a reward system that started in September for breaking the bad habit.

Non-smoking staff are now entitled to six paid holidays per year, which the Tokyo-based company granted following multiple complaints against their smoking employees.

Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima revealed that four employees already quit smoking since the incentive was first implemented.

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Employees who smoke were forced to go to the basement level from their 29th floor office for a 15-minute cigarette break. With that said, the non-smoking staff complained that they were putting in longer work time than the employees who smoke.

“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, our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate,” Matsushima explained in an interview with The Telegraph.

About 30 out of Piala’s 120 staff have already enjoyed their non-smoking perk including Matsushima himself, who used the occasion to bring his family to a hot spring resort. Piala CEO Takao Asuka urged smokers to quit the habit by also rewarding them with perks instead of forcing them through penalties.

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“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Asuka added.

According to Japan Times, more Japanese companies are now following the trend of banning smoking altogether.

Life insurance company Nippon Kowa Himawari recently implemented an all-day smoking ban and even turned their smoking areas at the head of the office into lounges.

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Convenience store franchise Lawson Inc. also introduced an all-day smoking ban in June in hopes that they could cut the number of their smoking staff by 10 percent after a year’s time.

The ban, which was introduced in states in 2016 and carries no penalty for violators, applies to nearly 4,500 employees during work hours, excluding sales clerks at Lawson convenience stores and workers at subsidiaries.

“The company is willing to take an even tougher anti-smoking measure in the future,” a company representative added.

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