Chinese Firm Grants Employees 10 Days Of "Sad Leave" For Better Work-Life Balance

Fat Dong Lai is making waves for its commitment to employee well-being.

Chinese Firm Grants Employees 10 Days Of 'Sad Leave' For Better Work-Life Balance

Employees will have the freedom to plan when they want to take leave

Feeling down or burnt out?  Employees at Chinese supermarket chain Fat Dong Lai can take up to 10 days of "sad leave" annually, with no manager approval needed.

"Everyone has days when they are sad, that's human nature," Mr Yu Dong Lai told Straits Times. Mr Yu started his first store in 1995. It has since expanded into 12 outlets in Henan province, where it originated.

Fat Dong Lai isn't your average supermarket.  Nicknamed the "Haidilao of supermarkets," they go above and beyond with pampering customer service, offering unique perks like blood pressure checks, handbag care, and even pet feeding stations!  Just like Haidilao, the hotpot giant famous for manicures and shoe shines, Fat Dong Lai prioritizes a luxurious and unexpected customer experience.

"But interestingly, when they have this 'sad leave', they can feel happy once more. This means that they sense the company's understanding and support, and get a taste of work-life balance," Mr Yu said during a week-long supermarket convention held in Henan.

Mr Yu said employees will have the freedom to plan when they want to take leave, Straits Times reported. 

The chairman informed that the employees at Fat Dong Lai enjoy up to 40 days of annual leave, on top on top of the five days the retailer shuts during the Chinese New Year period. This stands in stark contrast to the grueling "996" work culture prevalent in some Chinese companies, where workers toil from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.

Fat Dong Lai's dedication to its workforce extends beyond vacation time.  They offer a supportive work environment with typical workdays of seven hours, five days a week.  The company even compensates employees up to 5,000 yuan (S$950) for on-the-job grievances like customer insults or threats.

Their commitment doesn't stop there!  In a recent headline-grabbing move, Fat Dong Lai announced it would be sending all employees on an overseas vacation, with management enjoying a European trip and other staff visiting Japan.  These initiatives solidify Fat Dong Lai's reputation as a leader in prioritizing employee well-being.