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Chinese company introduces ‘unhappy leave’, employees can skip work when feeling down

Yu Donglai, the founder and chairman of Pang Dong Lai-a retail chain in China-introduced the concept of unhappy leaves, which would allow staffers to request for 10 days of extra leaves at their discretion.

Chinese company introduces unhappy leave employees can skip work when feeling down gcw
First Published Apr 15, 2024, 8:29 PM IST

A Chinese retail entrepreneur has introduced ‘unhappy leaves’ to assist his employees achieve a healthier work-life balance. Yu Donglai made this announcement during China Supermarket Week 2024, a six-day event held in late March to advance the growth of the nation's supermarket industry. 

Employees at Pang Dong Lai, a major Chinese retail chain established in Henan province, are able to ask for an extra 10 days of vacation whenever they'd like, according to the chairman and founder of the company.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Yu stated, "I want every employee to have freedom. Everyone has unhappy moments from time to time, so avoid going to work if you're unhappy." Yu is in favor of giving all employees adequate time off from work and the flexibility to decide when to take a vacation.

"Management cannot refuse this leave. Denial is an infraction," he declared.

Yu criticized Chinese companies which encourage longer workweeks in a speech given in March 2023. He said that forcing employees to put in extra hours was immoral and an appropriation of their chances for personal development.

According to Yu's employment standards, employees only need to work seven hours a day, are entitled to paid time off on weekends, and receive 30 to 40 days of paid time off year in addition to five days off for the Lunar New Year.

Yu declared that he doesn't want his business to grow to be really large. He said that the company will gain by making sure his employees have happy and healthy lives. Pang Dong Lai said that his guiding principles are "freedom and love." The company pays its employees an average of 7,000 yuan (more than ₹80,000) each month.

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