Hay fever benefits improve employee wellbeing in Japan

Encouraging employees to tackle allergies and hay fever leads to increased workplace satisfaction and efficiency, more companies are finding out.
By: | February 14, 2023

With spring comes hay fever, but some companies in Japan are addressing this issue by offering hay fever allowances to their employees. By encouraging employees to deal with their pollen allergies, companies hope to improve workplace satisfaction and maintain work efficiency.

One such company is Lafool, a B2B health management systems developer, which has been paying employees’ hay fever related medical bills, as well as providing employees with tissues, masks, and eye drops. Around 40 employees, or half of the organisation’s workforce, have taken advantage of the programme, which pays each employee around 5,000 yen (US$38) per hay fever allowance.

Recognising that untreated hay fever symptoms could lead to serious accidents on the road, Hokuo Ryutsu, a food logistics and distribution firm, provides its drivers with nasal sprays and other items to prevent hay fever from affecting their work.

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According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the amount of cedar and cypress pollen in the air this spring will be 2.7 times higher than last year, with 51 days of “high pollen counts” expected in Tokyo’s 23 wards. This exceeds the average of the past 10 years, which was 35 days.

An estimate by Sankei Nishima, Director Emeritus of Fukuoka National Hospital and an Advisor to the Japanese Society of Allergology, stated that the Japanese economy incurs losses of around five trillion yen (US$38 billion) per year due to reduced labour productivity among hay fever and other allergic rhinitis patients, reported The Mainichi