The Government has published proposals to prohibit smoking in most workplaces in England. The law is expected to come into effect in 2007. Scotland has already passed legislation to ban smoking in all indoor workplaces: the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act takes effect in March 2006. The Welsh Assembly has voted in favour of smokefree workplaces and will be granted powers under the Health Bill to implement regulations to this effect. An order allowing similar smokefree measures for Northern Ireland has also been announced. This is likely to be implemented shortly before the law in England comes into force.
Until new legislation requiring smokefree workplaces is introduced, employers should continue to protect staff by adopting a smoking policy. This report provides guidance and information for employers and employees on existing legal, health and practical aspects of implementing workplace smoking policies.
The TUC, Asthma UK and ASH propose a three-pronged approach to smoking in the workplace: namely, recognise the impact of smoking in the workplace, understand the legal obligations, and develop a policy in consultation with staff.
Smoking in the Workplace