As cedar pollen levels are soon expected to be at their highest in 10 years, some companies are providing employees with a “hay fever allowance,” while others are offering free medication to help ease workers' symptoms.

Lafool, a Tokyo-based health care data tech company, covers the full cost of medical treatments and prescriptions for staff experiencing hay fever symptoms. A standard visit to a hospital or clinic for such cases costs about ¥5,000.

“I’ve always suffered from hay fever, so in the past I thought it was fine to just be patient and tolerate it with over-the-counter medication, but this system has made it easier to get professional help at hospitals,” said Naoto Osawa, director of public relations at Lafool. “I think it’s helped a lot with motivation and productivity.”