Japanese company gives non-smokers extra days off

Non-smokers were annoyed they weren't getting as many breaks as smokers. Photo credit: Getty

Sick of smokers taking extra breaks, while you toil away at work? Try asking your boss for extra days off.

A Japanese company has given its non-smoking employees an extra six days' annual leave after they complained about having to work more than their smoking colleagues.

Piala Inc, a marketing firm based in Tokyo, introduced the extra leave in September. Piala's head office is 29 stories up, and a round trip to the basement to have a smoke takes about 15 minutes.

"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," spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima told The Telegraph.

"Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate."

"I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion," CEO Takao Asuka told Kyodo News.

The policy has been a hit, with a quarter of the firm's 120 employees already taking extra time off - including Mr Matsushima, who took his family on a surprise holiday to a hot spring resort.

Four employees have also given up smoking to take advantage of the offer, he said.