Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. is giving the non-smoking staff six extra days off after they complained they were working more than staff who took cigarette breaks.
Before the change, resentment among the non-smokers grew because their office is on the 29 floor and the smoking section is in the basement. This made the smoking break time last about 15 minutes.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion”, Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc. CEO, told Kyodo News.
According to the World Health Organisation, 21.7 percent of Japanese adults smoke, and that figure is much higher among males and older generations.
Japanese companies are reportedly increasing efforts to protect employees from the impact of second-hand smoke.