At Hjerno, a cigarette costs ten minutes of your salary

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At Hjerno, a cigarette costs ten minutes of your salary

As a workplace, we should contribute to our employees leading the healthiest life possible.

At least, this is what we believe at Hjerno, where - in addition to a healthy canteen scheme and participation in various exercise campaigns - we have succeeded in reducing the number of smokers to a large round zero.

"Smoking is not prohibited here. I don't think we should interfere in that. But every cigarette you smoke during working hours is charged by ten minutes, which are either deducted from the salary or which the employee must make up for at another time,” explains Managing Director Aage Agergaard.

Success in creating a healthy workplace
In addition, the employee must inform the payroll office of how many cigarettes he wants to smoke during the day. Occasional smoking is not allowed and may result in a written warning.

Together, these initiatives have had the result that today there is not a single smoker in Hjerno's staff.

“In the past, we had a dozen smokers among our employees. The fact that we are now down to zero means that we have succeeded in creating a healthy workplace.

Several employees have given up the cigarettes
He emphasises that he does not want to interfere in whether the employees smoke in their spare time. But as long as they are at work, there must be clean lines for the sake of the community.

“And actually I'm just really happy that our employees have chosen to give up the cigarettes. Also because we want to be a healthy company that can help employees live a healthier life,” says Aage Agergaard, and elaborates:

“So while it may sound a little harsh that it costs 10 minutes of your salary or working hours per hour for each cigarette you smoke, it may on the other hand give the employees 10 minutes of longer life per cigarette that they do not smoke. And I'm fine with that,” says Aage Agergaard with a smile.

According to the latest available figures from The Danish Health Authority, 16 percent of the Danes - about every sixth Dane - smoke on a daily basis.

Read more about our other healthy initiatives here.