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'Not happy, take leaves': China retail tycoon introduces 'unhappy leaves' where denial is a serious violation

According to the founder of a Chinese retail firm, he wants employees to freely determine their own rest time, and for them all to have sufficient relaxation outside work.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: April 15, 2024 18:53 IST
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At a time when companies are forcing their employees for regressive work, a Chinese firm has announced "unhappy leaves", where the workers can take anannounced leaves in case the mood is not good. According to a report by the South China Morning Post, a retail tycoon in China has introduced the concept of taking "unhappy leaves" in order to assist its employees achieve a better work-life balance. 

"I want every staff member to have freedom. Everyone has times when they’re not happy, so if you’re not happy, do not come to work," said Yu Donglai, founder and chairman of Pang Dong Lai, a retail chain in central China's Henan province.

Donglai said the employees would be eligible to request 10 days of additional leave at their discretion. As per the current company's policy, an employee can take 50 leaves annually- which is much higher than workers getting leaves around the globe.

Management cannot deny leaves

While speaking at an event, the chairman of the supermarket, said he wants employees to freely determine their own rest time, and for them all to have sufficient relaxation outside work. "This leave cannot be denied by management. Denial is a violation," he said.

According to a 2021 survey on workplace anxiety in China, the SCMP, over 65 per cent of employees feel tired and unhappy at work. The survey claimed that low wages, complex interpersonal relationships and overtime culture are reportedly the main sources of negative emotions in the mainland workplace.

Guess, how much salary Yu gives to his employees?

Earlier last year, Yu made a speech in which he condemned the culture of Chinese bosses advocating for long working hours. “Making staff work overtime is unethical and an expropriation of other people’s opportunities for growth,” he said.

Yu’s employment policies stipulate that employees work only seven hours a day, have weekends off, and are entitled to 30 to 40 days of annual leave and five days off during the Lunar New Year. Speaking about the future of his company, Yu said: “We do not want to be big. We want our employees to have a healthy and relaxed life, so that the company will too.” Pang Dong Lai’s philosophy is “freedom and love,” he said.

The average monthly salary of employees at the company is 7,000 yuan (US$970).

Also Read: Robot or human? Viral video sparks debate at Chinese restaurant | WATCH

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