A PSYCHOLOGIST in Ireland has claimed companies should be giving their non-smoking employees an extra six days off a year.
Jason O'Callaghan from the D4 Clinic in Blackrock, Dublin says Irish firms should follow in the footsteps of a company in Japan who announced this week they'd be doing just that.
The call for extra paid holidays, says O'Callaghan, is to make up for the time non-smokers work when others are on smoking breaks.
The Irishman has worked out that it takes an average of 15 minutes for someone to go for a cigarette. So if they are smoking four a day it works out at as much as 2.5 days a month.
"That's a full 30 days a year that company is paying a staff member to smoke," O'Callaghan said. "With most companies banning smoking on site it can take an average of 15 minutes for a staff member to go for a cigarette.
"Just four a day is an hour from the work day wasted. That's five hours a week or 20 hours a month. Which works out at 2.5 days and if you multiple that by 12 months."
He described smoking as a massive waste of money for companies, saying it causesreates a severe drop in productivity.
"A Japanese company Piala Inc is giving non-smoking workers up to six extra days of paid holidays to make up for the extra work they do while smoking employees take cigarette breaks," he said.
"As the country that introduced the smoking ban we should encourage Irish based companies to do the same. With corporate wellness now at the forefront for so many companies.
He added: "This would not just lead to a healthier workforce but also a more productive company. As each smoker who quits would work win back a month of working hours.