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The Indian perspective: Japanese firm’s initiative of paid leaves for non-smokers

The Indian perspective: Japanese firm’s initiative of paid leaves for non-smokers

SUKRITI YADUWANSHI

Six days of paid leaves to non-smokers! Yes, you read it right! According to news reports, Piala Inc, a Japan based firm has stimulated a debate after it introduced the initiative of giving paid leaves to their employees who do not smoke.

As per the news reports, the incidence came into light after the employees who do not smoke or don’t take smoke-breaks complained after minutely calculating the time a smoker takes when he/she goes out for a smoking break. The non-smoking staff dropped a message to the organization’s suggestion box. The organization took note of this, and decided to extend paid leaves for non-smokers.

According to researches, taking small breaks is necessary for any working individual. It not only releases stress but also increases productivity for some people. Reasons for taking breaks may vary from individual to individual. There was a rage on social media about the surfing of internet at work.

Tobacco consumption in the form of Cigarettes in India is less than 2% of the global consumption. Still, this initiative has stimulated a debate between the smokers and non-smokers. According to the Minimum Wages Act 1948, under rules 20 to 25, the number of working hours in a day should not exceed 9 hours for an employee. How much break is a productive break? How relevant is a “smoke-break” in India? Is India ready for this? Do we need a similar initiative or current campaigns against smoking is enough for us? TimesJobs approached the industry and here’s the reaction.

An employee: Deepesh Mishra, a 35 year old employee works in the corporate world and has been a smoker for past ten years shares his opinion. “Organizations can plan some rewards that will help smokers cut down smoking and the time spent on it. Though the initiative taken up by Piala Inc is worth applauding, I am uncertain about its impact on people who smoke”, says Deepesh.

An employer: We tried to conduct seminars and run anti-smoking campaigns in India. Unfortunately, throughout my working experience, none of them worked. Employees consider this to be something personal and disliked intervention of their organization into such matters”, says Monika Garg, Head HR in a FMCG firm.

So what do you think? Do frequent breaks like these helps you to work better or do they hinder your workplace productivity and adds risk to your life? Who’s responsibility is it? Do we really need some kind of award or reward to quit smoking? Share your opinion below in the comment section.

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