Tokyo-based marketing support organisation Piala has introduced up to six days of paid leave for non-smoking employees in order to counterbalance the time spent by staff who take smoking breaks.
The organisation, which has approximately 120 employees, launched the benefit to staff in September, and to date it has been taken up by 31 employees. In addition, four employees have started smoking cessation programmes since the scheme’s introduction.
The benefit, named ‘smoking holiday’ by the organisation, has been implemented to help staff improve their health as well as to help reform working practices. To receive the paid leave, employees have to declare that they have not smoked for the past year.
The paid leave benefit was launched after non-smoking employees left comments in the organisation’s suggestion box, stating that smoking breaks were causing problems.
Piala is based on the 29th floor of an office block, so smoking employees would spend approximately 10 to 15 minutes travelling to the basement floor in order to have a smoking break, with some employees taking several of these breaks during the working day. The organisation reports that 35% of its workforce are smokers.
Taka Asuka, president at Piala, said: “It is nice to get rid of the sense of inequality.”