Japanese Insurer to Refuse to Hire Smokers

Economy

Tokyo, April 10 (Jiji Press)--Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life Insurance Inc. said Wednesday it will refuse smokers in hiring graduates in April next year.

It is unusual that a company refuses to hire smokers.

The move is part of corporate efforts to care for employees' health, an official at the insurer said, stressing that the hiring policy does not amount to employment discrimination.

The company said it will hire even smokers if they quit smoking before entering it. No penalties will be imposed on employees whose smoking habit is found after they enter the company.

The insurer has a goal of lowering its employee smoking rate to 12 pct or less by fiscal 2020, which starts in April next year, from around 20 pct currently.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press