Should non-smokers be granted extra leave?

Should non-smokers be granted extra leave?

A Japanese company has decided to give their non-smokers an extra six days of paid annual leave after concerns about productivity was brought to their attention. 

A female working on her laptop smoking
A female working on her laptop smoking/Pexels/@Elijah O'Donnell

There's no doubt that in every company there is a mix of smokers and non-smokers. 

A divide between the two populations has always brought with it some conjecture, with many non-smokers feeling like there is unfairness that reigns over smokers in the company. 

In short, many non-smokers have felt like there is less productivity from smokers versus non-smokers in the workplace. Of course, that varies from company to company. 

The premise has always been that non-smokers spend more time doing work in comparison to their smoker colleagues and therefore should be reimbursed in some way. 

As a way of addressing the 'productivity concerns' that were brought to management by a non-smoking employee, a Japanese company, Piala Inc. granted non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid leave annually in 2017. 

"This decision followed a complaint from a non-smoker about the impact of frequent smoke breaks, which kept employees away from their desks for about 15 minutes daily. CEO Takao Asuka aimed to encourage quitting through positive incentives rather than coercion." (Instagram)

The extra six days of paid annual leave were aimed at motivating smokers to not smoke at work. 

Surprisingly, it seems the new policy has shown some initial success, with some employees quitting.

"Shun Shinbaba, a former smoker benefiting from the initiative, plans to use his extra vacation time for recreational activities like playing tennis." (Instagram)

For more from East Coast Radio

Although there might be lots of controversy surrounding the extra vacation days for non-smokers, it is meant to be more of a shift in culture from many companies that are prioritising employee health and well-being. 

This is an innovative way of trying to get smokers to lay off smoking. 

Despite the added cost and negative health effects that come with smoking at the workplace, there's definitely a move toward drawing a line in the sand from employers like Piala Inc. 

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