Japanese insurer to stop hiring smokers by next year

Firm to still hire smokers if they manage to kick the habit before starting work

Japanese insurer to stop hiring smokers by next year

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

In a bid to improve employee health and likely serve as an example to its customers, a life insurer in Japan said it will refuse to hire new employees who smoke, beginning April 2020.

In what a Jiji Press report described as an “unusual” move, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life Insurance said that it will stop hiring smokers as part of its efforts to care for its employees’ health. A representative of the company said that the incoming policy cannot be considered as employment discrimination.

According to the insurer, it will hire smokers if they quit smoking before their first working day at the company. Also, it will not impose any penalty on existing employees in case they are discovered to be smokers.

The firm has instituted an all-day tobacco ban at its offices across Japan, and is actively promoting smoking cessation among its workforce, by subsidising its employees that voluntarily undergo programmes designed to help them quit the harmful habit.

These activities are part of the company’s efforts to cut down on the proportion of its employees who smoke, from around 20% currently to 12% or less by fiscal year 2020.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!