This link from Reuters via Yahoo! News, sent by my pal Gerry, who writes, “I don’t know which is odder, that heartache leave exists or that it’s only a couple of days.” Get this:
Lovelorn staff at a Japanese marketing company can take paid time off after a bad break-up with a partner, with more “heartache leave” on offer as they get older.
Tokyo-based Hime & Company, which also gives staff paid time off to hit the shops during sales season, says heartache leave allows staff to cry themselves out and return to work refreshed. “Not everyone needs to take maternity leave but with heartbreak, everyone needs time off, just like when you get sick,” CEO Miki Hiradate, whose company of six women markets cosmetics and other goods targeted for women, told Reuters by telephone.
For extra funny, the heartache leave increases with seniority:
Staff aged 24 years or younger can take one day off per year, while those between 25 and 29 can take two days off and those older can take three days off, the company said.
The older we get, the harder we fall? Apparently so:
“Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it’s tougher for women in their 30s, and their break-ups tend to be more serious,” Hiradate said.
I hadn’t heard that theory. But I guess it makes sense. Now about that shopping leave:
Hime & Company staff can also take two mornings off twice a year as “sales shopping leave”, so they can race to stores to hunt for bargains. “Before, women could take half-days off to go to sales, but you’d have to hide your shopping bags in lockers by the train station,” Hiradate said. “But with paid leave, we don’t have to feel guilty about bringing our shopping bags to work, and we can enjoy the best part about sales shopping — talking about our purchases afterwards.”
I’ve got an idea. How about combining the two leaves for a little company-approved retail therapy post breakup?
More seriously: I can’t decide if this company is really woman-friendly, or if publicizing these policies sets the already bass-ackwards women’s movement in Japan back another century.
Then again, she never says the leaves apply only to women (though admittedly her staff is all female). I’m trying to imagine the policy on offer at, say, an investment bank. Men have enough trouble manning up to take paternity leave. Heartache leave? That’s strictly for the weaker sex.
Oh, and while they’re on leave, they can feed this to Taro the pooch:
Designed with dog psychology in mind, The Ex features Fat Cat’s “Maximum Floppability®” technology – aka floppy, dangling extremities – to give both you and your dog the pleasure of seeing him surrender to your pup’s mighty bite. The Ex also features a fun yet safe squeaker inside; there’s even a place to write your least favorite ex’s name on the back (just remember to use a non-toxic permanent marker). Now that’s what we call therapy!