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Chinese Retail Tycoon Introduces 'Unhappy Leave' Policy: A Paradigm Shift in Workplace Dynamics

Monday, April 15, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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The Chinese retail giant has initiated an innovative policy that it describes as "unhappy leave" to further develop the work-life balance of its employees. Chairman and Founder Pang Dong Lai Yudonglai made the statement the morning of May 26, promoting his workforce to take another ten days' leave when they are in an unhappy mood. "Everyone experiences periods of unhappiness, so if you're feeling down, take a break from work," Yu expressed.

Under this new directive, employees can schedule their own leisure time, and management should not deny the request. He reiterated that the company would continue to look out for the welfare of its workers, and Yu outlined the new employment policy, which introduced a seven-hour working day, weekends, and attractive annual leave totaling 30 to 40 days, plus five off days during the Lunar New Year celebration. Yu stated that the company places more value on the welfare of its employees than on its growth.

The company has also introduced a meritocratic job certification system, which ensures a high income of 500,000 yuan a year for skilled employees, regardless of position. The move is laudable as progressive in many cases on Chinese social media platforms, boosting an already very positive organizational culture.

However, such progressive measures also bring with them broader concerns: more than 65% of employees pointed out workplace stress in a 2021 survey, while those who indicate fatigue and dissatisfaction are over 65%. Yu Donglai said that he is one of the nationalistic critics of the chronic work hours of Chinese bosses, criticized as offending the values and interests of the development of workers.

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