Some Canadian Companies Want To Give Non-Smokers More Vacation Time

A new labour trend sparks a growing debate among employers.
Some Canadian Companies Want To Give Non-Smokers More Vacation Time

Should non-smokers be given more vacation time? Several Canadian companies are considering the idea thanks to a new labour trend from overseas.

Piala Inc., a Japanese company, recently started a policy that gives non-smokers six additional days of paid leave per year. Such was introduced after several of its non-smoking staff complained that they were working more hours than their coworkers who would take smoke breaks.

In Canada, many companies are debating on adopting a similar policy in promotion of workplace fairness. Trevor Carr tells Global News that his company Noise Digital might benefit from such an arrangement:

"We have a few smokers in the office, but I’m not sure if they burn more break time than non-smokers, but I would consider it as a reward for non-smokers and an incentive for smokers to quit for sure," he said.

For many non-smokers, it's perfectly reasonable to want more vacation time because they do not use up time to take smoke breaks and socialize with other coworkers. For some smokers, a smoke break can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes a session. 

Other companies don't see the point in enforcing a non-smoking benefit. They believe all employees to take breaks and not just the smokers because they feel it is essential for productivity and mental health.

However, some studies do show that smoke breaks cost companies $4,200 in productivity each year, with $3,800 of that total being due to unauthorized smoke breaks.

Do you think giving non-smokers more vacation days is fair?