Friday, February 22, 2008

What I’m Hearing…Heartache Leave

Here’s one I’ve never heard of before. Receiving paid time off to get over a breakup.

Japanese firm Hime & Co offers heartache leave to employees. Employees under 25 can take 1 day per year. Employees 25 – 29 can take 2 days per year. 30 and over? You can take 3 days per year to get over a failed relationship. According to CEO Miki Hiradate, "Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it's tougher for women in their 30s, and their breakups tend to be more serious."

Here in America, FMLA and EAP programs may cover some of the medical / physical issues which sometimes manifest themselves at the end of a relationship. Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act would also address whether it’s OK to create such a policy here in the States. (Short answer – “no” to the Hime program. There’s too much discrimination based on age and gender.)

Should corporate policy cover heartache leave? And what about those employees who are happy to get out of a relationship – should they be eligible for an extra vacation day or two to celebrate? I don’t think we’ll be seeing any programs like Hime’s making their way across the Pacific anytime soon. It is interesting to explore what other nations are doing in the area of employee relations, though.

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