Updated April 12th, 2024 at 17:49 IST

'Unhappy? Don’t Come to Work': Chinese Company Introduces Unhappy Leaves For Employees

In a first, a Chinese retail chain has introduced "unhappy leaves" for its employees. It means employees can skip work when they feel "unhappy".

Reported by: Digital Desk
'Unhappy? Don’t Come to Work': Chinese Company Introduces Unhappy Leaves For Employees | Image:PTI

Beijing: To ensure good work-life balance, companies in different countries have introduced mental health leaves. In a first, a Chinese retail chain has introduced "unhappy leaves", which means that employees can avail leaves when they are unhappy and are not in the mood to come to office. 

In March this year, Yu Donglai, Founder and Chairman of Pang Dong Lai, a retail chain in central China’s Henan province, said during China Supermarket Week 2024 that employees can ask for 10 days of extra leave at their discretion.


Yu wants to enable employees to choose their rest time and be able to get enough relaxation outside of work.

China Supermarket Week 2024 is a six-day gathering to promote the development of the country’s supermarket sector. 


Donglai told the media, “I want every employee to have freedom. Everyone has times when they are unhappy, so if you are unhappy, you don’t come to work.”

“This leave cannot be denied by management. Refusal is a violation,” he added.


Since being announced, the idea has got a lot of acclaim on social media. People are lauding the chairman for his efforts to bring more work-life balance into the lives of his employees. 

"Such a good boss and this corporate culture should be promoted nationwide,” one person wrote on Weibo. “I want to transfer to Pang Dong Lai. I feel I would find happiness and respect there,” said a social media user.


Yu further stated that forcing employees to work overtime is unethical and invasion of others’ growth opportunities.

Yu’s employment policy stated that employees could work only seven hours a day, have weekends off, and were entitled to 30 to 40 days of annual leave and five days off during the Lunar New Year.


More than 65 percent of workers feel tired and unhappy at work, according to a 2021 survey on workplace anxiety in China. Low wages, complicated interpersonal relationships and overtime culture are reportedly the main reasons of negative emotions in the mainland’s workplace. 

 In March 2023, Yu gave a speech condemning the culture of Chinese bosses who advocate long working hours. 


Published April 12th, 2024 at 16:55 IST