NOT only does stopping smoking add years to your life expectancy - it could also add a few days to your annual leave.

The managing director of Stratton-based firm KCJ Training and Employment Solutions decided to begin the new year with a radical new policy.

Don Bryden said: "I was watching the employees that smoke. They have four, five or even 10 cigarettes a day and take around 10 minutes outside each time.

"I looked at the other guys during these breaks and they're always on the phones, typing away and trying to do their work, so I thought they should be compensated.

"Last year, I saw something on social media suggesting that workers who don't smoke should have an extra four days off.

"Everyone was saying it was a great idea but nobody said they would actually do it, so I came into work at the start of January feeling generous and told everyone we would kick it off.

"I haven't seen any other business in Swindon do this so let's start something, it's only right and well overdue and hopefully it will encourage other companies to do the same.

"Funnily enough, when I made the announcement some of the workers said they weren't going to smoke any more, but it doesn't work like that! If they can give up smoking for 12 months, I'll give them the extra four days."

Krzystof Krzywozeka has worked at KCJ for just over six months and does not smoke.

He said: "I was quite surprised by this because Don had mentioned it a few weeks ago but I thought he was just suggesting it and nothing would happen, but then he decided to actually do it .

"It's absolutely amazing, I think it's a great idea and it could motivate people to quit smoking."

Don added: "I've worked for recruitment for national and private businesses for 20 years and, a lot of the time, you get used and abused and you just become a number.

"I'm trying to give something back to the staff, little incentives to encourage them.We took all our staff and their partners to Spain for a long weekend, quad biking and whitewater rafting, and we had an awards ceremony for them later that year.

"It may not make the business more profitable but it has created loyalty and a positive mindset and the feeling of being a family. The team is very motivated."