Recruiter rewards non-smoking consultants with extra holidays

A Swindon-based recruiter is looking to create a “happier and healthier” workplace by awarding consultants who don’t smoke at work four additional days holiday.

The idea is the brainchild of KCJ Training and Employment managing director Don Bryden, who is seeking to compensate staff who do not smoke, rather than penalise those who do.

Speaking to Recruiter this morning, Bryden revealed he took inspiration from a report about a Japanese firm that had offered non-smokers six days’ holiday in compensation for their lack of smoking breaks.

“I said, ‘Why don’t we all stop smoking? I tell you what I’m going to do. The guys that don’t take a smoke break, I’m going to give you guys an extra four days holiday a year…’ I thought let’s compensate the non-smokers and let’s encourage the smokers to give up smoking because a healthier workplace is a happier workplace.”

Bryden added his small idea had gone global as he has been fielding calls from as far away as Australia, the US, South Africa, New Zealand and all over Europe.

However, Bryden advised recruiters to exercise caution if seeking to follow a similar approach.

“Every business has to be judged on its own merits by its management team. I think there is an element of calculations that need to take place of exactly what is a fair compensation but you’ve got to remember that the smokers have already taken their time [in cigarette breaks] – not all of them, that’s where an evaluation of every single business on its own merit needs to come in. 

“One particular individual said I was discriminating against smokers, when the fact is that smokers are going out and having a cigarette themselves, [which] is discriminating against non-smokers…

“Personally, at my company people have taken this warmly and think it’s a fantastic idea. I’ve had a lot of praise on it and it’s worked for my business but every business to their own.

“I was asked how we monitor that they aren’t smoking. Well, I think there has to be an element of trust within your staff. If you don’t trust them, you have probably lost them in the first place.

“I don’t see them smoking at work – what they do after hours is in their own personal space, so whatever they do then that’s fine.”

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