Chinese Retail Chain Offers Unhappy Leave, Prioritizes Employee Well-being

Henan, China – A Chinese retail company is shaking things up with a unique leave policy: “unhappy leave.” Pang Dong Lai, led by founder Yu Donglai, is offering employees 10 additional days of leave specifically for when they’re feeling down.

“Everyone has times when they’re unhappy,” said Yu Donglai. “If you’re not happy, don’t come to work.” This leave is entirely at the employee’s discretion and cannot be denied by management.

This progressive policy is part of a larger company culture focused on work-life balance and employee well-being. Pang Dong Lai employees already enjoy a 7-hour workday, weekends off, and generous paid time off, including 30-40 days of annual leave and a five-day Lunar New Year break.

“We don’t want to be big,” Yu Donglai explained. “We want our employees to have healthy and relaxed lives, so the company will too.”

This commitment to employee happiness extends to opportunity as well. Pang Dong Lai offers a job-level certification system, where even janitorial staff can earn upwards of $70,000 annually based on their skills.

The company’s approach is resonating with the Chinese public. Social media users have praised Pang Dong Lai’s culture, with many calling it a model for the nation. In a country where over 65% of workers report feeling tired and unhappy at work, Yu Donglai’s philosophy is a welcome change.