HR Strange But True!
January 31, 2008

The holidays are a stressful time for relationships. Relationships can end, hearts can be broken. Just when you think you are starting to recover, Valentine's Day arrives. Oh, the horror. But, you still have to put on a brave face and go to work every day, even Valentine's Day, don't you? An employer wouldn't understand if you asked for the day off because of a broken heart, would it? An employer in Japan would--it is offering employees paid time off in the form of "heartache leave."

Hime & Company, a market research firm in Tokyo, is offering employees up to 3 days of shitsuren kyuka to recover after the end of a relationship, the Japan Times and Reuters report. The company says it is offering the unusual leave because everyone could use a respite after some heartache.

"So, shitsuren kyuka is a [paid] holiday you take when that happens and you feel too devastated to come to the office," Miki Hiradate, chief executive of Hime & Company, tells the Japan Times. "I introduced it after I asked young women what they wanted from 'female-friendly companies,' and they suggested these holidays."

Since the company began offering paid time off for post-breakup recovery last year, no employees have taken the leave, Hiradate tells the newspaper.

The company offers 1 day of heartache leave to employees aged 24 or younger, 2 days to employees aged 25 to 29, and 3 days to employees aged 30 and older. The company has 6 employees, all of whom are women.

Why do older workers get more heartache leave?

"Women in their twenties can find their next love quickly, but it's tougher for women in their thirties, and their break-ups tend to be more serious," the company tells Reuters.

Sources: Reuters and the Japan Times

TGIF - It's HR
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