Workers at Japanese Firm Offered Heartache Leave

February 7, 2008 ( - A Japanese marketing company has added "heartache leave" to its sick leave offering for staff.

According to Reuters, Tokyo-based Hime & Company says heartache leave allows staff to cry themselves out and return to work refreshed. “[W]ith heartbreak, everyone needs time off, just like when you get sick,” CEO Miki Hiradate told Reuters by telephone.

Workers age 24 years or younger can take one “heartache leave” day per year, while those between 25 and 29 can take two days, and those older can take three days, the company said. Hiradate explained to Reuters the reasoning behind increasing the time off with age is that: “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.”

The company of six women which markets cosmetics and other goods targeted for women, also offers two mornings off twice a year as “sales shopping leave”, so workers can 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 in the news report. “But with paid leave, we don’t have to feel guilty about bringing our shopping bags to work.”