A Japanese city official loses half a day's pay for repeatedly leaving his desk three minutes early for his lunch break
A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk three minutes early to have his lunch break.
The official had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and his bosses at the waterworks bureau called a news conference to apologise for the “deeply regrettable…misconduct”.
The worker was in violation of a public service law which states that officials have to concentrate on their jobs, according to the bureau.
A city spokesperson told the AFP that the official had taken the “early” lunch break 26 times over the space of seven months.
His designated lunch break is strictly from noon to 1pm, added the spokesperson.
The news sparked a heated debate on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.
“It's sheer madness. It's crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?” said one Twitter user.
“Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?” said another.
The city had previously suspended another official in February for a month after he had left his office numerous times to buy a ready-made lunch box during work hours.
The official was absent a total of 55 hours over six months, according to the city.