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#1 Posted : 08 August 2000 14:39:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Stuart Norfolk
I am looking to implement a smoking policy for my new employer.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has attempted to implement such a policy in an environment where smoking has been poorly managed in the past

As I see it their are four options that management could take:-

1. Immediate site wide ban
2. Site wide ban to commence at some later time. (providing employees with assistance in the mean time)
3. Provide one single status smoking area.
4. Provide several smoking areas, one within department.

I am in the process of canvassing the workforce for opinion and have consulted the ASH web-site, which incidentally is very useful.

In order to finalise my research some real case experiences would be useful and any advice/lessons that have been learn't by others, in implementing new smoking policies would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

#2 Posted : 09 August 2000 11:05:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Rob Todd
Smoking policies are notoriously dangerous to staff morale. Be prepared for resignations depending on how far you go.

Firstly, your option one (immediate ban) is illegal in as far as these changes would amount to a change of contract. Any change to working conditions must have consultation period. A three month period is usually accepted as sufficient by a Industrial Tribunal (however they normally expect specific help to be given to employees who smoke.

By far and large the easiest option is for designated smoking areas. This provides those who smoke with a place to go.

One thing that must be mentioned is that cases are starting to come to the fore where smoking has been curtailed and employees are bringing cases of stress disorders against companies concerned.

Do please remember that smoking in offices is not illegal. The only specific requirement is that smoke free zones must be provided in REST AREAS.

Good luck but, as someone who has been through this process (and as a smoker) you may be in for a rough time.

One caution though - ASH are a fanatical organisation who have been proved to manipulate statistics to their own ends to the point of fabrication. If you quote from them you will alienate any support whatsoever from those in the middle of the debate.

I highly recommend specified areas.

#3 Posted : 09 August 2000 17:42:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By David Allan

Best of luck, this subject is a source of much unhappiness and debate. The approach we took was to provide smoking rooms with all the appropriate additional fire precautions and ventilation. Single occupancy ofices could choose their own policy. This was after a prolonged period of consultation - which really was a "here's what we propose - if you don't like it lump it" exercise. One unforeseen consequence was the transfer of smokers to the various entrances - smoking after all is also a social experience. This seems to be exceptionally widespread - witness the office blocks and shops where the workers congregate for a fag by the number of discarded butts around.

Providing butt bins (and a system to empty them)helps, but the cleaning staff were very reluctant to do this.

Additionally by providing smoking rooms, people then had an excuse to leave their workstation for a cigarette break - this caused ructions with the personnel who did not smoke and was viewed as a smokers perk. This led to some supervisors relenting and allowing non smoking breaks. Stupid I know but thats human nature.

Consideration must also be given to fly smoking adding to the increase of fire.

Be prepared for robust arguments - but lastly a clear and unambigous policy from senior Management (who incidentally will have to follow it)will help.

Hope this helps.

David Allan
(01436) 674946
e mail davidallan@act-scotland.prestel.co.uk
#4 Posted : 10 August 2000 08:49:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Re; point made by Alan regarding butts outside shops and offices. Dropped fag ends on the floor is considered to be litter and can, therefore, prompt prosicution. Although this not normally cause for a fine, the forcing of employees outside to smoke and having no alternative, i.e. a butt bin, but to drop the cigarette stub onto the floor, and it usually being done in one specific place by all the firms smokers, gives the potential for the police to prosicute the employer for encouraging people to drop litter
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