Japanese company gives non-smokers 6 days extra holiday a year to compensate for cigarette breaks

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A Japanese company has granted non-smoking members of staff an additional six days of paid holiday a year after they complained they work more than colleagues who take cigarette breaks.

Marketing firm Piala Inc. introduced the new policy in September after members of staff expressed frustration over some colleagues going on smoking breaks throughout the day.

And since bosses announced the rule two months ago, 30 employees have taken advantage of the extra paid leave.

Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company, told The Telegraph: “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.”

He said non-smoking employees were frustrated because the office is located on the 29th floor of a Tokyo-based office block so anyone wanting a cigarette would need to travel down to the basement, taking up around 15 minutes of working time.

The CEO of the company, Takao Asuka, told Kyodo News that he hoped the incentive would encourage people to quit smoking.

It has so far helped four people to give up smoking.