‘Sad leaves’: Chinese company introduces unique leaves for employees

A Chinese supermarket chain, Fat Dong Lai, has introduced an innovative benefit known as ‘sad leave,’ allowing employees to take up to 10 days off annually without requiring managerial approval.

The concept of “sad leave” acknowledges the fundamental human need for emotional well-being, recognizing that everyone experiences periods of sadness at some point.

The founder of the Chinese company, Yu Dong Lai, emphasized this understanding, highlighting the significance of addressing the emotional needs of employees.

Known for its exceptional customer service, Fat Dong Lai distinguishes itself from traditional supermarkets and is often hailed as the “Haidilao of supermarkets.”

Similar to Haidilao, Fat Dong Lai prioritises customer satisfaction by offering unique perks such as blood pressure checks, handbag care, and pet feeding stations.

According to an article by The Strait Times, employees at Fat Dong Lai typically work seven hours a day, five times a week, which starkly contrasts with the notorious 996 culture practiced by some Chinese companies, where workers are expected to work from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.

Furthermore, the Chinese company demonstrates its commitment to supporting its employees by providing compensation of up to 5,000 yuan (approximately Rs 57,668) for grievances suffered at work, including instances of customer insults or threats.

This proactive approach to employee well-being sets a positive example for other companies, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing mental health and fostering a supportive work environment.

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