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'Not happy, don't come to work': Boss in China gives staff 10 extra days of leave

'Not happy, don't come to work': Boss in China gives staff 10 extra days of leave
Staff at Pang Donglai are entitled to 10 days of 'unhappy leave'.
PHOTO: Weibo, Baidu

Feeling down? Many people would still head to work but the staff at this company in China can take "unhappy leave".

They can request for 10 days of additional leave, announced Yu Donglai, the founder and chairman of Pang Donglai, a retail giant in Henan that runs department stores and supermarkets.

"I want every employee to have freedom," said Yu at the 2024 Supermarket China Week last month.

"Everyone has times when they're not happy. So, if you're not happy, don't come to work."

Staff should be allowed to determine their own rest time and have sufficient relaxation outside work, he explained.

"This leave cannot be denied by management. Denial is a violation," Yu added.

The retail tycoon is known for introducing employee benefits that prioritises work-life balance, South China Morning Post reported.

Some of the benefits include: only working seven hours a day, having weekends off, getting 30 to 40 days of annual leave.

Last year, Yu condemned bosses in China that push for long working hours.

"Making staff work overtime is unethical and an expropriation of other people's opportunities for growth," he said.

Pang Donglai, founded in 1995, has over 30 outlets in Henan.

When asked about the future of his company, Yu said: "We do not want to be big. We want our employees to have a healthy and relaxed life, so that the company will too."

Yu's employment policies have since received much praise and support on Chinese social media.

"Such a good boss and this company culture should be promoted nationwide," one wrote on Weibo.

Another netizen said: "I want to work at Pang Donglai. I feel like I would gain happiness and respect there."

The company's employment policies also got the nod from China retail bigwigs such as Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun.

"Yu's policies stimulate a new way of thinking among retailers in China and serve as an example for Chinese enterprises," Ma said.

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