A Japanese company, Piala Inc, has rewarded non-smoking employees with six extra days of paid leave per year following complaints that they were working longer hours than smokers.
A report from 2014 found that the productivity lost from employees who take four 10 minute smoking breaks a day costs £8.4billion each year.
Despite what some may think, there is no legal right or entitlement to take smoking breaks, or get paid for any rest breaks they may take. How the employer deals with breaks is up to them, and is governed by the contract of employment (so long as it complies with the uninterrupted 20 minute rest break and other Working Time Regulations requirements).
Piala Inc has stated that it hopes to encourage employees to quit smoking. All in all, this seems to be a popular suggestion and has been commented on for being fair and reasonable. It remains to be seen whether employers in the UK will follow suit. However, if UK businesses are losing £8.4billion per year from smokers taking smoking breaks, how much more per year would they lose if they offer every non-smoker a further 6 days holiday?